One of the most important elements of your influencer marketing campaign is social media engagement. Your engagement rates give you an idea of how effective your marketing content is and what kind of sales or lead generation you can expect. Although you can measure social media engagement in several ways, some methods are more effective than others. Check out these top metrics to better understand how to measure social media engagement and optimize your influencer marketing campaign. A word of caution before you dive in, there are services out there that claim to be able to spot fake likes, comments, shares, and so on – but most fall drastically short, in our opinion. It takes a little effort to vet influencers, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Start With Likes, Comments, and Shares
Likes, comments, and shares are fairly universal in social media, and you can track them across almost any platform. They may have different names on each platform (Facebook uses the term “share,” while Twitter says “retweet”), but the overall concept is the same.
These three metrics differentiate engagement versus reach. Potential reach is the number of people who could have seen your content, while impressions are the number of people who actually did. These metrics aren’t as helpful as others in terms of measuring engagement. After all, would you rather have a post reach 20,000 people but only generate one comment or have a post reach 2,000 people with dozens of comments, likes, and shares? The latter proves that the content had high value and served to start a conversation. When vetting an influencer, consider the like-to-comment ratio, examine a handful of posts at a bare minimum to determine if there are any irregularities and take a closer look at the comments to see if they seem natural and legitimate. Taking this time and effort can have a very positive effect on your campaigns.
Active Fans and Follower Growth
The number of active fans that you have can also serve as a bellwether for the health of your social media campaign. Let’s use the above example again: A page with 20,000 likes might seem impressive but actually isn’t if only one or two people are regularly engaging with the content. An influencer would much rather have dozens of fans all jumping in to share their thoughts and ideas. Plus, too many followers could be a sign that the influencer is buying fans.
Follow growth, or the rate with which an account adds new followers, is another key metric to watch. Any influencer wants new fans, but they don’t want these fans to check out and unfollow them or simply become inactive. Look for influencers who regularly engage with new fans and take steps to make them active participants in the community.
Clicks and Traffic
If you are new to the world of influencer marketing, then it is easy to get swept up in the excitement of influencers and potential reach while losing sight of your sales funnel. Strategic marketers will track the number of people who actually click on a link and visit your website or landing page.
Not all social media campaigns are created with the goal of increasing sales; however, you should see a bump in traffic over time because of your influencer’s efforts. You can track this through direct traffic or through traffic funnels in Google Analytics. This will give you an idea of how many people engage with your brand on social media first before they come to your homepage.
Lead Generation and Conversions
The final measurement of social media engagement is the conversion rate (also known as the lead generation rate, in some cases). This measures the actual number of people who make a purchase based on influencer content. In the B2B world, this could be the number of lipsticks sold after a beauty blogger plugs it. In the B2C world, this could be the number of conference sign-ups after a mention from the keynote speaker.
Tracking conversions is the best way to identify your ROI for your influencer campaigns. You can sort influencers by those with high engagement rates and those who drive hard sales. This way, when you need a sales boost, you know which influencers can drive results.
Once you are able to measure social media engagement, you can take additional steps to evaluate your influencer marketing campaign. The next step is analyzing social media sentiment to determine how your content was received and how excited people are about it. All of these elements work together to help you develop a healthy online presence that introduces new fans to your brand while engaging old ones.