I have experience in creating social media ROI reports based on prescribed objectives, the progress of the social campaigns with meeting those objectives, analyzing the key performance indicators and explaining the results and proposing future strategies. The other day though, I almost forgot about the main key performance indicators I have used to analyze in the past when I was asked about them. That’s why I wanted to created a series of posts with the KPI’s I have used with brands to never forget them again!

Social media allows businesses and brands to have a social presence online and convert them into sales, but it also offers them to:

  • Drive traffic to their websites
  • Build brand familiarity
  • Create positive associations with the brand
  • Deliver social proof via the people sharing the content and discussing the brand
  • Attract brand followers and influencers who can help spread the word

This illustration of Eloqua shows us what type of content shared on different kinds of channels (including social media) has an impact in the buying process:

But as we mentioned, not everyone uses social media for sales. That’s why it’s very important to analyze your audience, see which social networks they’re on, how they interact, choose which to use for you brand and finally, set clear goals and key performance indicators (KPI’s) for a successful brand social strategy. There isn’t one set of KPI’s for all brands but the most important ones are usually engagement and follower growth.

I wanted to start this series of posts with Twitter because it’s one of the most used social network and it has recently launched its analytics platform.

1. Number of followers and fans

  • Growth: It’s important to know how many followers you have on your Twitter account to know your companies reach. In addition, you want to work on ensuring that the number continues to grow week after week. You also have to look out for the number of unfollows and if you notice an increase in unfollows, you may want to adjust your strategy.

  • Fans and Influencers: Fans are the number of followers that tend to engage with the brands account, while influencers are those that have a big number of followers and may turn into evangelists of your brand. Make sure you know who your fans and influencers are because it’s very important to take good care of them.

2. Follower demographics and location

  • Gender: Most businesses aren’t gender segmented but in some cases, they sell their products specifically to one gender. This indicator will be important for these kinds of businesses and it’ll help them with their Twitter accounts follower optimization.
  • Interests: Thanks to this tab, you’re able to know if your content interests your followers. You can also use it to your advantage to share content related to what they’re mostly interested in.
  • Location: Again, this is an important indicator for those that target a specific location.

3. Engagement

  • Active followers: Not all of your followers are active (someone who has logged in and interacted within the past 30 days). Your followers should be relevant to your business and if possible, influential.
  • Mentions:
    • Replies: Number of tweets that are sent with your account name in the beginning. These tweets are only seen by you and those followers that follow both your account and the repliers account.
    • @ Mentions: Number of tweets that include your brands account with @. These tweets are seen publicly.
    • Brand mentions: These are the amount of tweets that mention your brand even without the @ or #. Social mention is a great tool to keep track of these mentions and the sentiment towards your company.
    • URL mentions: Those tweets that include a link to your brands website or domain name. With external tools, like Moz, you’re able to analyze those that have also been shortened through URL shorteners.
  • Retweets:
    • Direct retweets: Number of retweets that have been done through Twitter’s native retweet button.

    • Manual RT: Those tweets that are “retweeted” to add extra information or edit the tweet. Users usually edit it and add RT before your account name.twitter-manual-rt
    • Via: Some users prefer to write their own tweets with your content and then just add (via @youraccountname) to the tweet.
  • Favorites: Most users favorite posts in order to save them in their account and look at it afterwards. Tweets that are favorited will just be kept in the users account.

  • Best performing content: The content that has earned the most clicks, retweets, engagement rates and favorites.

4. Traffic data

  • Total impressions (organic and paid): Number of times that users have seen your tweets/promoted content.
  • Total reach: Allows you to quantify not only the users you engaged with, but the followers of those users, who may have seen your @username or Tweet.
  • Direct traffic and Click through rate (CTR): You can analyze how many users have visited your website from Twitter through Google Analytics but if you use URL shorteners like Bit.ly, you’ll be able to analyze which links are those that are being more clicked. This rate is very important in order to know how many users are actually clicking on your content.
  • Cost per Follow (CPF): Total spend divided by new followers gained from the campaign.

5. Competitive analysis

  • Benchmark: This is something that should be done constantly to know what your competitors are doing and to differentiate yourself from their strategies. It’s important but you shouldn’t obsess over it.
  • Hashtags: You can determine the success of your hashtag based on the total number of people joining the conversation and other related hashtags created based on it. But you can also look for those hashtags that are being used by the competition, influencers and followers. By identifying them, you can use them to provide new information to share in the conversation.
  • Lists: Number of lists your followers have saved you in. Make sure they’re related to your product/field.

Also, there are some specific KPIs that are important for some businesses that use Twitter as a customer service tool:

  • Customer service related issue: rate of quantity, rate of how many of those have been resolved
  • Queries dealt through direct messages

Although many companies believe that the most important thing in Social Media and Twitter is to have a high number of followers, remember to defend that it’s all about engagement, customer interaction and creating emotional bonds with your clients and products. With these kpi’s, you’ll be able to create a complete report to defend the ROI in social media and continue to grow your brand.