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Measuring your Social Media Marketing: KPIs for Product & Brand Awareness

Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Posted by to ROI Measurements, Social Media Marketing, Underwire Newsletter

Marketers know that the ability to measure success online is far more accurate than measurements offline. Tracking, analyzing and responding to the data is your key to success. Begin by defining the key performance indicators, or KPIs, for your campaigns.

With your marketing goals in mind, what is measurable? As Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook notes, social media’s goals are about increasing online visibility. This means creating awareness about your products, services and brand. When determining metrics, think of actions that indicate people are aware of your brand and, from these actions, what is measurable.

The development process for KPIs can be visualized as a funnel:

Goal > Action > Measurement (KPI)

Web Stats To Measure

KPIs linked to product and brand awareness should focus on visits your website and how they found it. Are people aware of, and visiting, your site? If they are, how did they get there and were they aware of your brand before they visited? The following is a list of web stats that can help gage awareness about your product and brand.

  • Unique Visitors. This shows how many people are visiting your website.
  • Direct Traffic. This shows how many people are coming directly to your site by typing the URL in their address bar. These visitors are coming to the site having already heard about your product or brand.
  • Referral Traffic. This shows where your visitors are coming from. This is important because referrals are like recommendations. You will want to build a relationship with the sites that are directing traffic to your site.
  • Keyword traffic. This shows how people are finding your site. Are they using your brand’s keywords? This shows that they already knew about you before they visited your site. What other keywords are visitors using? If familiar keywords are seen month over month, then it shows a strong interest in a topic or category, which you may want to profile on the home page. Trending keywords should also be used in your site’s content, for example, as blog posts and page titles, in order to capitalize on new traffic sources.

With these KPIs, you can create a KPI scorecard. Fill in the scorecard monthly and go back over previous months to determine a baseline. Looking at the numbers month over month, are they the same? Where do they fluctuate? What does this mean in relation to your marketing activities? What should be repeated, modified, or discarded for something new?


Crissy Campbell

Crissy spends every night will her cocker spaniel Hank sleeping on her pillow. See more posts by Crissy Campbell. You can also find her marketing tips on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Friday, July 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Dave says:

Very interesting reading, my background (historically) is as a recruiter and my website is a place mark for my email (basically redoing it as I type). How do you factor “brand building” {for lack of a better term} via articles, squido lens etc vs more traditional Facebook style social networking?

While you may or may not get direct traffic via contextual links etc the long term gain may far outweigh the initial metrics. Separate from the potential SEO impact the content itself may shape recognition as an identifiable expert over time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Monique Sherrett says:

Thanks for the questions Dave!

Ideally you’d have a strategy in place for each of these channels or marketing efforts.

The strategic goal might be “Establish Dave as an Expert”. In this case, writing articles on other sites and establishing credibility are the tactics. This will include writing guest articles on other sites, writing squidoo lens, etc. It might also include answering questions on LinkedIn and building up your profile and connections. Ideally, you want to get a by-line that includes a link to your site, but if that’s not possible, at least you are building up your reputation as an expert.

Here you’d track:

* Incoming links to your site from those articles.

* Comments on those articles or number of Shared/Digg/Tweet clicks

* Number of positive mentions of your name online

* New business requests

Facebook has traditionally been a social space, more for friends than business. The introduction of pages and groups brought businesses to the site. Here, I’d suggest the strategic goal is to stay connected to existing clients, and to show prospective clients that you are a likeable guy. The tactics would include posting articles they’d be interested in to your wall, sharing client success stories, and curating/filtering content that they’d find interesting (perhaps 50% your stuff and 50% other stuff). Make sure to pick a template that allows you to include your pertinent contact information. As far as SEO goes, pay attention to what fields get indexed in Search and ensure that your page title and key contact info are optimized for your specific keywords of choice.

Here you can use Facebook Insights to understand engagement on your page: number of new fans, number of “likes” and shared links. You can also track referral traffic from Facebook in analytics.

These two examples are only part of the marketing mix. Each has it’s own job, and you’re right that the short-term and long-term pay-offs vary. I related it to financial investments. You have long-term retirement savings in accounts that work hard over extended periods of time and short-term savings in different accounts that might not have the same percentage payout but offer different benefits.

The key is to decide in advance what goal you want to achieve and then work backwards to determine your best approach and what measurable steps can be tracked along the way.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 1:34 am

Michael says:

Thanks for the post. I am in the process of putting a KPI scorecard together, however since online marketing is moving forward very fast, it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the changes, especially how Google sees the internet. what we think is working now could be obsolete in 6 months time. But in the meantime we have to our best.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 7:21 am

Monique says:

Although Google’s algorithms change, they are updates to ensure relevant results. You can put an annotation in analytics when Google announces major changes, so that you have historical notations and can see whether it affects you over the longer term or not.

For the most part, this shouldn’t affect your overall KPIs, especially if you have a good marketing mix and are not relying only on site traffic from search.

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