How to Measure Social Media Performance

John Hope-Johnstone

John Hope-Johnstone

Greetings! As I have written in other posts of this blog, the bottom line for social media is “buzz.” How much chat around the water cooler is your social media creating? There are also a million other ways to monitor the effects of your social media campaign but I have found the following to be well accepted by upper management clients.

Starting Your Social Media Report:
At the bottom of your reporting pyramid are the lower tier statistics: How many communities? How many friends on facebook? How many followers on Twitter or subscribers on YouTube? How many key influencers have become friends and how many of your messages have they followed? You can also follow how many “buzz” strings you started and how far they went.

All of the above stats are important indicators of the success of your social media efforts. However, if social media is to survive in the corporate world, the hungry beasts known as “number crunchers” must be satisfied and I don’t think feeding them a steady diet of the above campaign numbers alone is going to satisfy their insatiable appetite.

In the corporate world any business activity that is not part of a sale is fluff….yes fluff! Marketing is any business activity that affects the transfer of goods, products or services, (forget this to your own peril). Social media and social networking fall under the umbrella of marketing in the category of Public Relations. Public Relations, in and of itself, has often been considered a little “fluffy” because it sometimes lacks the ability to prove it really helped sell the product or service.

So a question: Where does the final sale of the product or service take place on the Internet? Well in most cases you would have to say the brand’s Web site. So the query really is; does your social media help drive people to your brand Web site?

After you drive them from your social media to your Web site, how many people convert after visiting your Web site is a whole other story and most likely belongs on someone else’s shoulders (yipee).

This is why I believe in expressing social media as a logical “pathway.”

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The pathway:
The path, (shown as a pyramid on the right), takes you from micro blogs such as: Twitter, facebook; My Space etc. which have the purpose of pointing you to macro blogs (such as this one). Your macro blogs display “thought leadership” in the field of expertise and then points you to a brand Web site.

In short, your micro blogs tell people “who you are”. The macro blogs tell people “what you know”and your brand Web site tells people “what you do”.

Now, I am cute, but not stupid (well, not too stupid), I know that people don’t follow logical paths in social media, they randomly snack on all the content. Still, it makes sense to think of social media as a logical pathway as you herd your faithful followers up the path to your point of sale….which is your brand Web site.

So to be effective with your social media campaign, the increased number of friends, followers or subscribers should be affecting the number of unique users of your brand Web site as recorded by your Web analytics.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As you can see from my little brand Web site,  (chart on left) the majority of the top 13 referrers come from my blog.

This will not be so with a large brand site…but the social media should show in the analytics, although perhaps further down the list.

Side note, it has always interested me how popular my Web site is in other countries (see below).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now, if my theory is correct and we take a look at my blog analytics then the top referrers should come from my micro-blogs like Twitter and facebook and Linkedin. The following chart (below) shows this Buzz Master blog’s stats.


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Soooo, the chart to the right basically proves my point that pointing from micro-blogs to macro-blogs and then to brand Web sites actually works and the results can be proven by an increase in users on the brand Web site which is where the products are sold.


This post has just been a start to your monthly social media report. We will have more next week. To summarize, your new Social Media Performance Report might start with a summary page that reads like this: 

Monthly Social Media Report Statement for September 2009

The social media department increased followers by 23% which drove 2,700 new users on the brand site over the past 30 days. Using the standard 20% conversion rate for the site, this means that the social media department increased sales by a possible 540 units at an average of $720 per unit resulting in $388,800 in revenue.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now, I can hear a thousand people saying, “it won’t work in my company because….blah blah blah” Of course you are right. I cannot write a blog post that is going to cover every contingency but use example of a social media value statement and make something out of it that DOES work for you.

The pages following the summary page would contain the analytics from your micro blogs and macro blogs and Web site that support the above value statement and pyramid.

Next Sunday I will create a post that will complete the rest of this monthly report for Social Media. Hope to see you next week. Thanks for reading, make a comment or a suggestion please.




  1. 有道理的分析。我相信social media可以给公司网站带来更大的流量。流量大了,交易额自然就有可能更大。


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