How to Measure Social Media Effectiveness

An article in SIPA Hotline (10/16/09) suggests that a way to measure the effectiveness of social media is to track certain metrics before, during, and after the social media campaign.

The metrics to be measured can include:

>> Traffic to web site and blog.
>> Number of brand impressions per month.
>> Percentage of content clicked through.
>> Percantage increase in site-return visitors.
>> Percentage increase in followers or fans per month.

It also recommends monitoring what is said about your company on social networking sites using a new service called filtrbox ( and responding to negative comments to correct perception.

Make sense?


496 thoughts on “How to Measure Social Media Effectiveness

  • I think I agree with the notion that in the end, the public will control the conversation when it comes to social media’s usage by business.

    I think it IS possible to STEER the conversation by asking the right kinds of questions, and responding to negative comments and criticisms will definitely help to build a relationship with the (hopefully) buying public. Whether it’s the RIGHT kinds of relationships, only time and patience will tell.

  • Hi Bob,

    I think those metrics are good if your goal with social media is simply to get traffic–but should not be universally used. For instance, I get many clients through LinkedIn. The majority of these clients never click through to my website, never look at my blog, and certainly don’t become repeat site visitors. Instead, they contact me directly after viewing my LinkedIn profile. The same has happened with Twitter.

    If you have a product-based business, then the metrics you mention above make sense. If you have a service-based business, you’d be better served asking your clients how they heard about you rather than looking at your traffic stats.

  • One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not tracking the metrics. Any legitimate lead that comes through phone or email (not through the website) we always ask where they learned about us. How you get the information is up to you – but you HAVE it to be as successful as you can be.

    I hadn’t heard of filtrbox, thanks, im going to check it out.

  • I’m glad you shared this information, Bob. Just because the metrics of social media are considerably less precise than those of direct marketing at this point doesn’t, in and of itself, prove that social media are a waste of time. Certainly some of the responses in this blog indicate some impressive response from the use of social media.

    Yet, despite your own skepticism, it’s clear you’ve already wisely come to this conclusion yourself since you maintain your own twitter account.

  • What’s conspicuously missing from these metrics is the number of leads captured – actual email addresses that were opted in.

    And then the number of leads that are determined to be qualified.

    I understand that lead capture is not a priority for social media marketing. The idea is that with enough good content, people will eventually come to you when they are ready to buy.

    I don’t want to wait that long.

    Social media is a good, low-cost way to generate interest, buzz and traffic, but unless you have a mechanism to capture and qualify leads, all you get is good will – which is nice, but doesn’t pay the bills.

  • I think return on time invested is till the best metric. I uspsect for me it will be very low but the product I’m selling (a music CD) may work better since music listening is one of the prime activiites in the social media space.

  • My website design company, Aurora IT ( advised me “Manage yourself because what you don’t know can definitely hurt you!” And it’s so TRUE!!! With social media platforms, you can manage what patients are saying about you, and be able to respond accordingly. This can be done with a well-written, informative blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.

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