It’s 2012. SEO & Social Media go together like peanut butter & jelly. If you’re a newcomer to the social space, you’ve probably realized it’s very difficult to do one without the other nowadays. The amount of content being seen and shared on social media is growing by leaps and bounds and as we look forward into the new year, social media is sure to become an even larger part of the SEO web. It’s fairly well known at this point that Google & Bing each factor social actions like “retweets” and Facebook “Likes” & “Shares” of your websites content into their ranking algorithms. These actions can help improve the organic rank of those pages. But, as more and more content is found and shared using social media, it’s likely that search engines will continue to place more emphasis on social activity.
So at this point you’ve got yourself set up on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc and you’re following the rules of trying to grow your audience and post useful, engaging content. Now… how do you show your boss or your clients that your social media efforts are working? Here is a list of social media KPI’s that we suggest you focus on as you begin your voyage into the social media world. (Keep in mind there are many paid social monitoring tools that make tracking these metrics easier for you, which is a blog post for a different date… but at the very least, these are the metrics you should be concerned with).
1. Network/Audience Size & Growth Over Time
While having the largest social profile does not necessarily have a direct impact on performance, you still need an audience to see your content and start sharing it, which does have an impact. Focus on growing your audience with relevant followers who have an interest in the type of content you post.
2. Engagement with Content & Growth Over Time
You’ve probably heard this term thrown around a lot. And “engagement” on a social site will mean something different for every social platform. At a high level, engagement should monitor the number of social interactions your content receives. Here are some examples:
Facebook – monitor the # of Comments, Likes, Shares of a wall post
Twitter – monitor the # of Retweets, Mentions, Replies of a tweet
Google+ – monitor the # of Comments, +1’s of a wall post
3. Traffic to Website & Growth Over Time
Now that we have wall posts that have been shared, liked, retweeted etc, how do we measure that for value to the client? A good start is with traffic back to your website. This is one way to show whether your time spent on social media has been valuable. Track visits at the very least. If you have more time try taking it one step further and take a look at page views, time on site, bounce rate and conversions from social platforms.
At a high level, here is an example of these 3 KPI’s (using Facebook as an example) in an easy to digest dashboard view that could easily be sent to a client:
4. Content with Most Interaction
Also worth monitoring is the content that receives the most Likes/Shares/Comments on Facebook, the most Retweets on Twitter, the most +1’s on Google, etc. This not only shows you which posts & content turn out to be the most viral, but also allows you to trend what types of content are most often shared. Now you can focus your social efforts on creating related content. This also serves as a great way to test what types of content to create for your website too. Repurpose your successful social content into content for SEO purposes, content for your website. Successful content on social media can almost always be repurposed in different formats across social platforms, including your website.
Even if you’re new to the social media world but can manage to start taking a look at the metrics above, you’re on the way to using social media to enhance your SEO efforts. There’s no denying that social may become even more important in 2012, so you might as well put a monitoring process in place.