Measuring Key Performance Indicators

When it comes to thinking about getting your business active in social media, measuring success by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial. I’d like to elaborate a bit further on what some of these KPIs might be and how to best track them.

A sample list of some common KPIs

Contacts Made
Contest Entries
Coupon Redemption
Customer Satisfaction
Direct Sales
Leads Generated
Negative Sentiment
Positive Sentiment
Reviews (amount)
Social Bookmark Rankings
Time Spent on Site
Video Views
Visitor Demographics
Votes Received

All of these KPIs can be measured by hard numbers. Some of them are easy to track and others may be a bit more difficult, but all of them can be tracked over time.

Pay attention to stats that matter

It’s ideal to keep an eye on a multitude of numbers, but it’s worth keeping in mind that some are more important than others. Don’t assign a high level of importance to those that aren’t relevant to bottom line results.

For example: the amount of video plays on YouTube is a number worth keeping track of, but it shouldn’t be an end all measurement. You need to know what those views actually mean. If 1000 people view your video, what is the end product of those views? Some “fuzzy” metrics might be near impossible to track from the views without a fairly in depth testing method such as an increase of brand recognition, customers who purchase at a later date, or foot traffic generated from the video.

Other more solid numbers such as a percentage of viewers that visit a landing page, amount of subscribers, and feedback generated are easier to track and provide valuable insight into how successful your actions really are. This is the first step for establishing a hard line to go off of that ties into measuring the ROI of your social media activities.

Consider the amount of information that you’d be missing out on if you were only focusing on plays as opposed to thinking big picture. Small businesses are either not tracking social media efforts or they are, but they’re not looking at the KPIs that matter.

Setup a system for tracking

Once you’ve predetermined the KPIs that you’re going to measure, you’ll need to establish the frequency at which you track them and the tools that you’ll use to get the job done.

If your tracking blog comments you might way to track:

Total amount of comments
Amount of comments on average per post
Percentage of negative vs positive comments
Commenter demographics

All of these can be measured and only need to be checked once a month.

Other KPIs such as mentions on Twitter, you may want to track on a weekly basis. Determine what works best for your social media strategy.

KPIs such as Facebook “likes” and plays on YouTube are already tracked for you and built into their corresponding analytics platforms. For some stats, I like to use a simple excel spreadsheet. Do what works best for you. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re recording data regularly.


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