The Holy Grail of Measurement
Alright, let’s get real for a second. If measuring B2B social media marketing performance were as easy as counting jelly beans in a jar, we’d all be eating candy on a beach somewhere. But alas, it’s more like trying to count the grains of sand on that beach, using chopsticks, blindfolded, in a windstorm. Okay, maybe not that difficult, but it’s no walk in the park either.
Social Media Metrics: The Many Flavors of Success
First up, let’s chat about the various metrics that are the lifeblood of any social media marketer. If you’re not measuring these, you might as well be throwing darts at a dartboard…in the dark…after a few too many espressos.
Here’s a rundown:
- Engagement: This is the heart-to-heart chat your brand has with your audience. Likes, comments, shares, retweets – they’re all forms of engagement. They show you’re hitting the right chord, and your content is striking a nerve (hopefully, a good one).
- Reach: Think of this as your brand’s loudspeaker. It’s all about how many people your content is potentially getting in front of. It’s a bit like shouting from the rooftops and counting how many people poke their heads out of the window.
- Traffic: This is the breadcrumb trail leading back to your website. If your social media posts are Hansel and Gretel, then traffic is the number of people following the crumbs back to your gingerbread house.
- Leads: This is where the rubber meets the road. These are the folks who’ve shown a bit more than a passing interest in your brand and are ripe for the picking. Or, in less agricultural terms, they’re ready to be turned into customers.
- Conversions: Ah, the golden goose. The end goal. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You get the point. These are the folks who’ve taken the plunge, parted ways with their hard-earned cash, and bought into what you’re selling.
The Delicate Art of Attribution
Now that we know what we’re measuring, the next question is: who gets the credit? If you’re running multiple campaigns across different platforms, attributing success can be like trying to figure out which one of your kids broke the vase while you were out.
You’ve got several models to choose from. There’s the Last Click model, which is a bit like giving the last person who touched the ball before the goal all the credit. The First Click model is the opposite, akin to crediting the player who kicked off. Then there’s the Linear model, the democratic option where everyone gets an equal slice of the pie. And don’t get me started on the Time Decay and Position Based models – let’s just say they’d require a few more paragraphs and a strong cup of coffee to explain.
The key here is to pick a model that makes sense for your business and stick to it. Consistency, my friends, is the name of the game.
Benchmarks: Comparing Apples to Apples
So you’ve got your metrics, and you’ve decided on your attribution model. Now it’s time to measure up. This is where industry benchmarks come into play.
Benchmarks are like the yardstick of social media performance. They let you know if you’re a high jumper clearing the bar with ease or a limbo dancer who’s knocked it off the stand. But remember, benchmarks are just guidelines, not gospel. What works for one business might not work for another. It’s all about finding what works for you.
Mixing It Up: Content Variety
One crucial part of the performance puzzle is the type of content you’re pushing out. Are you the brand equivalent of a one-trick pony, or are you a veritable Swiss Army knife of content?
- Text posts: These are your bread and butter, the backbone of your social media content. But be careful. Nobody likes dry toast, so make sure you’re adding a generous helping of engaging, relevant, and, dare I say, fun content.
- Images: A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. In the world of social media, it might be worth a thousand likes. Images catch the eye and can help to tell your brand story in a way that words alone cannot.
- Videos: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is…well, I’ll let you do the math. Videos can be a fantastic tool to showcase your products, demonstrate your services, or give a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
- Links: These are your tickets back to your website or other relevant content. They’re an essential part of driving traffic and generating leads. But be careful not to spam – nobody likes the guy who’s all take and no give.
Remember, variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for your social media content. A healthy mix of different types of content can keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
The Power of A/B Testing
Let’s talk A/B testing, the marketing world’s version of a science experiment. The idea is simple: you take two versions of a piece of content (version A and version B, hence the name), change one element, and see which one performs better.
Maybe you’re testing different headlines, images, or call-to-actions. Whatever it is, the key is to change only one thing at a time. Otherwise, you’re muddying the waters, and you won’t know what caused the difference in performance. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but you’re not sure if the needle is made of metal, wood, or cheese.
The Long and Winding Road to Social Media Success
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re well on your way to mastering the art of measuring B2B social media marketing performance. Remember, this isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s about consistent, ongoing improvement, not overnight success.
So keep tracking those metrics, tweaking your attribution models, benchmarking against the best, mixing up your content, and conducting your very own social media science experiments. Also, be sure to use the right B2B social media management tools. Because, at the end of the day, the more you measure, the more you know. And the more you know, the more you grow.