Measuring the Right Things

Posted on , in Enterprise Solutions

One of my first ‘real’ jobs was working in a customer service centre for a large insurance company. The role of the customer service team members was to take customer calls and address their queries. Customer-Focus was a mantra for the organisation and management was proactive in striving to continually improve our service delivery.

At one juncture, management decided it was important to reduce customer phone wait time. To both measure this, and increase our awareness of wait times, they installed displays above our work stations showing the average wait times of customers in our individual queues.

Unfortunately, this had a negative effect on our customer service standards as, subconsciously, we were getting customers off the phone faster. This resulted in us not resolving the customer’s issues completely, being less empathetic to their needs and causing more work because of the need for follow-up calls.

This exercise highlighted to me two things:-

  1. The power of being able to measure things in business to enable change (measuring and displaying wait times notably changed our behaviour)
  2. Making sure you measure the right things (we should have been measuring customer satisfaction or first call resolution percentage instead of wait time)

Measuring the right things are also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

In Social Media Marketing, determining your Key Performance Indicators is critical. What are the right things to measure?

One of the key advantages that social media has over other forms of media is that ability to measure everything, including how many people saw your post or ad, how many people interacted with the post/ad, how many people visited your website or landing page, how many contact details you captured, and how many actually made a purchase.

In most cases this means you can measure the exact return on investment from your social media marketing efforts. For those businesses selling products online, it is possible to calculate the exact amount to acquire each customer (also known as the ‘cost per acquisition’). For non-ecommerce businesses the data is still strong and ROI is often measured by the cost per lead.

Compare this to TV advertising, where you can only estimate how many people saw the ad, but have no idea how many people like/disliked the ad, or how it positively impacted sales.

If you’re serious about being an expert social media marketer, you must become an expert in analysing data and making the right data-driven decisions. The first step is working out what you should measure and then set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure whether or not your strategy has been successful. Once your social media activity is complete, either for a once-off campaign (e.g. a two week promotion) or for a period of time (e.g. the month of February), you can compare your results with the KPI originally set.

In Social Media Marketing, the main KPIs and the ‘benefits’ they provide are:

  • Increase brand awareness – ‘reach’
  • Increase your social media network – ‘followers’
  • Engage customers – ‘engagements’
  • Increase website visitors – ‘website traffic’
  • Generate enquiries / capture contact details – ‘leads’
  • Increase customers – ‘sales’
  • Retain customers

The trick is to work out which of these are the right measures for your business.

Do you have Social Media Marketing objectives and do you know how to determine if you are achieving these objectives? Have you determined which KPIs you should be establishing to measure against? Are you measuring the right things?

Australis College is offering an intensive Social Media Marketing program aimed at providing businesses and individuals with the marketing knowledge, skills and tools to make social media marketing an important part of your future. Click here for more information and to get started today.