We have an over-fixation on size. “Bigger is better” so we’re told. Those with the most under their belt get all of the attention. But is quantity really better than quantity when it comes to building online connections?
A lot of businesses get hung up on their number of followers they land instead of the actual conversion of those followers into true fans and customers. While growing your customer base has its importance, don’t get so focused on quantity that you neglect quality. There’s more to consider than just sheer size. How many of your followers actually engage on your social media platforms? Do they share out your message? How many of those “fans” actually convert to sales?
In order to measure true program success, we recommend utilizing our “VERY” method.
The VERY method includes analytics to determine four measurements: volume, engagement, reach, and yield. We plan to spend this month breaking each of these down in greater detail, but here’s a quick overview of each:
People typically pay the most attention to this value. It’s straightforward and easy to understand. If more people “like” or follow your page now versus last month, last year, or other time period you can just measure the percent of change. But while size has importance, the interactions and fan loyalty to your brand makes the most difference.
Engagement measures not just how many people follow your page, but how often those users interact with it through comments, shares, likes, etc. That’s where the true value of social media comes in: people engaging and spreading your message.
You can determine your average engagement rate by first summing up all of the likes, comments, and shares on any given day and then dividing it by the number of posts you made on that same day. Once you have that, then divide it by your total number of fans and multiply your answer by 100.
Statistically speaking, if 1% of your fans feel motivated to engage, then the majority of your fans have seen your posts and that’s the exposure you seek. That’s reach.
Reach measures the spread of a social media or other online conversation. It doesn’t just measure who engaged on the post, or the number of your fans who saw the interaction, but everyone, including friends of your friends, for whom your post showed up on their timeline or main page.
So that brings us back to the importance of engagement. The more fans you can get engaging on your page, the more people will see your posts, and the greater your reach will extend.
Facebook has many analytics options that can measure reach, as well as the “People Talking About This” which reflects how many unique users have posted something to their timelines about your page.
Ultimately, you want to determine the size of your audience and how they disseminate your message. Once you calculate your rate, compare it to others in your industry. Then create target engagement rate goals and push yourself to really connect with your base and expand your reach.
This analytic gets straight to the point. Simply put, yield measures how many of your social media followers actually convert to established sales relationships. Out of all of the people who follow you, how many purchased your service or product?
As you conduct your sales transactions, request an email address or other member identifier. Once the sale completes, bounce that ID against your customer list. Keep a running total of each one of these purchases that match up to your list. Divide this number by the total number of entries on your list and you will not only have a quick and easy ratio demonstrating the effectiveness of your list building campaigns but also a pretty clear picture of how many of your fans actually utilize your service or product.
Refer to these analytics periodically, but not so often that you become obsessed with the slightest ticks up and down in trends. A monthly or bi-weekly schedule should work well to start. You have to give time for your strategy to take hold. To establish true, long term success online you must build strong, loyal bases organically and while it should show an improvement, your first few measurements probably won’t reflect miracle results. But don’t worry. Stick with it and soon you’ll soon enjoy a quality base of customers with whom your message and values resonate.