Social Media Analytics Blog

How To Measure Social Media Success On Google Plus

Google+ gets more and more important, especially for SEO reasons. That’s why we integrated it in quintly some weeks ago to make it easy for you to include Google+ analytics into your social media reporting and optimize your strategy from there. With this post we want to give you a short summary of which metrics you should use and how you can measure the social media success of your Google+ activities for yourself but also by benchmarking against your competitors.

Google+ Analytics Key Metrics Table

Measure circled by counts and page +1’s

The first metrics you come across when going to your Google+ page are the circled-by count and the +1’s on page level. With these two KPIs you can get a good overview of the size of your audience and how they are growing. Take a look at the following four sample metrics for the Automobile industry to get a sense of what data you can look into. Only by looking beyond your own stats, you can really get a sense of if you are doing a good job or not.

Page +1's Total Chart

Google+ Circle Followers Analysis

Circle Followers Change Rate Google Plus

Measure posts and interactions

As for all the other social networks, audience size is only one and most of the times not a very good measure of success. That’s why we have put a lot of effort into post and interaction metrics as well. By looking at these you can get a good sense of how engaging your content is and how people like it. This is also essential when optimizing your posting times for the future. The following sample charts give you a sense of what is possible in the interaction category. Especially the Post/Interaction comparison (last chart) is very interesting as you can match up your posting times with the times where you get the highest number of interactions.

Google+ Page Post Analysis

Measure Social Media Success with Google+ Analytics

Looking beyond – Competitive benchmarking

As mentioned above, benchmarking is one of the most important things when measuring your performance and this holds true for Google+ as well. All of the metrics that you find within quintly are designed for benchmarking from the ground up. Seeing the direct comparison with other players in your market gives you the power to differentiate general market influences from your own performance.

As you can see in the example below for the Automobile industry, there is a lot of parallel movement happening, which makes it very hard to determine your own performance when you don’t look at your competitors’ as well.

Which metrics do you use to measure success on Google+? How important is Google+ already on your overall social media strategy?

Photo Credit: Hernani Larrea via Compfight cc

How To Setup Your Social Media Reporting – A Step-By-Step Guide

No matter how advanced your social media strategy already is, you will always need to define your goals and measure towards them. A good social media reporting will help you to not forget the big picture and also make it easy for you to communicate your work and successes within your organization. To really get value out of social media you have to make sure that the whole organization knows what is going on and therefore transparency is key. In this article we want to show you how you can setup your social media reporting with quintly in a quick and easy way.

Social Media Reporting PDF

Step-by-step guide on how to create your reports with quintly

1. Decide on the metrics you want to use

The first and most important step is to define the metrics you want to have included in your report. The selection of KPIs can differ a lot depending on what your goals are. If you want to grow your general audience you would look more towards fans, followers, subscribers and others. If you want to measure and increase engagement on your social channels you will put more focus on interaction driven metrics. Most of our clients set up multiple dashboards with KPI sets for different target audiences within their organization, so e.g. one very limited report for the management, one in-depth report for the marketing director and one customer service report for the customer service department.

Social Media Metrics

2. Create a custom dashboard

When you have decided on the metrics you can go ahead and create your dashboard. Every report will be based on such a dashboard, so that you always have a live representation of every report you send out. Just click on the first tab in the main menu and click on Add dashboard, enter a name and decide on the number of columns your dashboard should have. You can also share the dashboard with other users in your account (if any).

Add dashboard

Empty dashboard

3. Add and configure your widgets

Once your dashboard is created, you need to add the widgets with the metrics from section 1. Just click on the Add widget button and find the metrics. By default, the widgets will take the settings (profiles, date interval) from the general report settings, but you can also configure every widget individually in case you want to show multiple groups/profiles and multiple date intervals in one dashboard/report. You can even add widgets from different networks to one dashboard so that your report can deliver metrics for e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ at once.

Widget settings

4. Adjust the positioning

After or in between adding the widgets you can adjust the order and size of the widgets. The order on the dashboard will also determine the order in the PDF report, so make sure you communicate your metrics in the right way. To change order, you can just drag the widgets around. If you want to emphasize a widget, you can increase the size by pulling on the lower right corner.

Move widget

5. Setup the reporting

When you are done setting up the dashboard, you can go to the report settings. In this dialog you can define the recipients, the general settings and the interval in which the report will be send. You could have one report going out to your management team every 2nd of the month and one report to your direct boss going out every Monday. At each of these dates, quintly will automatically create a PDF out of your dashboard and send it out to the defined target audience.

Setup report

6. Optimize your reports over time (recurring)

Goals and objectives change over time, so make sure you update your dashboard and reports accordingly. The further you are in your social media strategy the more you want to change your reporting. You may have started with a really fan and follower focussed reporting and want to move that to a more engagement driven report in the future. This also makes sure that you are measured by the right KPIs yourself.

How do you create your social media reporting so far? What are the metrics you are using?

Social Media Benchmarking: How To Analyze Your Competitors In Three Steps

Social Media BenchmarkingHigh competition requires a well driven marketing. But a well driven marketing requires as many information about the market as possible. Firstly, you need to know which opportunities you have to grow on the market, but secondly you also need to know your closest competitors. And you have to know your competitors very well to get the ability of always being one step ahead. Referring to marketing,  92 % of companies have already integrated social media in their strategy.

Nowadays, nearly every brand can be found on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. The success on social media can results in a general success for the brands, because word-of-mouth is a strong marketing element and can’t be tamed and users are talking about brands and give recommendations all the time. If the companies are driving their social media appearance well, they are able to create more buzz which finally leads to more likes, shares, followers etc. and this grows the brand and it’s popularity in return. So taking a look at the social media performance of companies can shed light on the own successes but also on competitors strategies.

So having a look on the social media success of companies can shed light on the own one and the competitors as well.

Benchmarking Is The Magic Word: But What Exactly Is It?

The dictionary says, benchmarking is “a measurement of the quality of an organization’s policies, products, programs, strategies, etc.”, so that a company is in the know of it’s strengths and weaknesses. The other objective of the benchmarking process is “to determine what and where improvements are called for” and “to analyze how other organizations achieve their high performance levels”. As a consequence, companies try to transfer the obtained information into concrete strategies to improve their performance. Benchmarking is a cycle, in which the described actions has to be regularly repeated to achieve real success and to get strategic competitive advantages compared to others.

Referring to social media, the cycle starts in analyzing what to track on what platforms, for example interactions of the users and/or static numbers like fans, followers etc. In the next step, you’re going to select suitable competitors for benchmarking, which have similar products or are active on the same market. And then the real magic begins: Analyzing your performance on social media and those of your competitors and collecting as much data as possible. On the basis of those information, your company will be able to implement new strategies and develop existing ones. And finally, the cycle starts at the beginning again.

Practicing benchmarking efficiently it is important to create new strategies and to focus on existing strengths. Copying the strategies of competitors can implicate negative consequences, for example a bad image and the lack of knowledge.

Social Media Competition: A Look Behind The Curtain

Now knowing all about benchmarking, it is time to take a look behind the curtain on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As you already read, the magic lies behind the scenes: Don’t only focus on the analysis of your own weaknesses, opportunities, strengths and threats. Also identify those elements on your competitor’s appearance on the market and look for overlaps and differences. The following steps show how to get first deep insights on the competition.

For the competitor analysis we chose a global example to focus on, which can be associated to a more or less similar target group: Popular fashion brands, which are segmented in the low to middle price category, targeting fashion-conscious men and women. Let’s see how H&M, Forever 21, American Eagle and ZARA are competing on social media. At least, we will compare the weaknesses and strengths of one brand in table form and will interpret possible opportunities and threats using a SWOT-Analysis. This analysis will help creating new strategies for the brand to get a strategic advantage in contrast to it’s competitors.

All-In-On Social Media Benchmarking

Social Media Benchmarking Facebook

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Social Media Benchmarking Twitter

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To identify the best practices and the weaknesses as well, the key metrics radar gives a good first overview as the basic position. The radar benchmarks the four brands on the social networks Facebook and Twitter during a similar time period. You directly see the strengths of each brand, which are quite various. For example American Eagle shows activity and posts regularly, but doesn’t acquire a huge number of fans and interactions on Facebook. An indicator for the passivity could be that the american brand doesn’t response to user posts. On Twitter, American Eagle strengths it’s social media position by showing presence on the page in form of a high tweet count and a high response rate.
Forever 21 meanwhile takes a very strong position on Facebook with a high level on five of seven key metrics. On Twitter, the popular fashion brand shows similar activity, but refer to the user interactions Forever 21 has to strengthen it’s position in the near future.
The scandinavian fashion brand H&M is not that active on both networks, but nevertheless registers large, growing numbers of fans and followers. But in one category H&M leaves it’s competitors behind: A high response rate on Facebook as well as on Twitter. ZARA is currently in the middle of the range, showing some deficits in the level of action on both networks.
In conclusion, the strengths of each brands are various in general, but they also diversify of network to network.

It’s All About The Numbers: Benchmarking Tables

In school, most of you may hated handling with numbers in every way. But for a useful analysis, it’s essential to go on numeral details. With key metrics tables, you can add numbers to the radar metrics. Additionally, the table presents a ranking and shows you’re clear position in the competition.

Social Media Benchmarking

Social Media Benchmarking

Social Media Benchmarking

In this case, the position of each brand diversifies on each platform again during the measured time periods. Since March 2011, ZARA has saved a strong position on Facebook, although the precious brand shows the least action with only nearly 400 posts. But with this small input, ZARA reaches a wide range of people talking about the brand. On Twitter and YouTube, ZARA shows the same passivity refer to new uploads. In contrast to ZARA, American Eagle takes a lot of action on Twitter during the period from August to November this year, but isn’t able to reach a wide range of users. Refer to Facebook, the american brand could intensify it’s efforts to acquire more fans and likes.

H&M takes a strong position on Facebook, too, but it rather succeeds on YouTube during the last month. Forever 21 also holds off refer to video uploads on YouTube, but it’s popularity reflects in the total numbers of subscribers. On Facebook, Forever 21 takes the last position.

Service, The Supreme Discipline For Businesses

Consumers often set value in a good service, in stationary stores as well as on online stores and social media networks. A bad service can quickly lead to a decline of a brand’s popularity. Therefore, service is an important performance metric and beneficial to add it to the social media benchmarking metrics.

Social Media Benchmarking Facebook

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Social Media Benchmarking

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In this charts, we can compare the service refer to response times on Facebook and Twitter for each of the four brands. Obviously, all brands allow user posts on the Facebook page during the measured time period from March 2011 to November 2013, but don’t respond to a huge number of posts and questions. American Eagle even respond to no post, which we’ve already seen in the key metrics radar. It looks like H&M has the best service on Facebook, refer to the response times during the last two and a half years. The up-to-date brand responds to more than 20 % of user posts during 0-2 hours. Forever 21 also cares about it’s service on Facebook, but on a lower level than H&M. ZARA takes the position before last with a very low level of responses.

The service on Twitter is measured from August to November this year. Compared to Facebook, the four brands give only little actions in the service on Twitter. ZARA and Forever 21 don’t respond to any kind of post, whereas American Eagle gives more input on Twitter than on Facebook. H&M only react to ten percent of user posts, but in contrast to American Eagle, H&M answers a bit quicker.

Spot On For The SWOT (Example American Eagle)

H&M is the strongest competitor, so the other brands have to push their marketing efforts. Through the social media benchmarking analysis, we now know the best practices of H&M on social media as well as the elements which provoke weaker interactions on the networks. American Eagle is the brand of the four which strongly has to proof itself on social media. Thinking about concrete marketing strategies the fashion brand can build, setting goals is the first step to go. Refer to benchmarking, you have to create best practices which set your brand apart from the competition.
In this case, the brand with the eagle could target a higher interaction rate and an increasing follower growth on Twitter.
The next step is finding out about opportunities and threats on this platform to relate them to the former analyzed strengths and weaknesses. Making it more visual and practical, we’re going to build a SWOT-analysis to evolve applicable strategies.
American Eagles strengths are its actions on Twitter and a fan base on Facebook, which has a medium size. But the fan change rate on Facebook indicates a growth trend. The most need for action can be noticed in the service, which currently is on the zero level.

Social Media Benchmarking Strategy

Benchmarking: 360 Degree View Of  Social Media Environment

The matrix now allows to derive concrete strategies for an increasing social media success. The combination of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats gives impulsions for a development and deformation of the social media marketing of American Eagle. Additionally, the social media benchmarking helps the fashion brand to become aware of it’s own position on social media and to learn from the competitors. H&M obviously drives an efficient marketing on the single networks, so American Eagle could now start struggling for a similar success on social media. A professional marketing strategy means orientating on the competitors, but not copying their best practices.

Summing up, benchmarking is a useful process to optimize your strategy on social media and/or to build new strategies, inspired by the competition. Analyzing other brands with similar products and target groups helps to know where you and your own brand stand and what need to be developed and improved. Depending on which market you’re serving, a unique marketing strategy is essential to accentuate your brand from the mass of competing brands.

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