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David Lee King



In this series of articles, I’ve been talking about what types of social media analytics my library tracks. We’ve already discussed Activity Metrics, Audience Metrics, Engagement Metrics, and Referral Metrics. Today we’ll cover ROI.

This is the best one (and the last, for now). People often ask for the ROI of social media. And true ROI for social media is often hard to show. Sometimes social media managers create a weird, complex “weekly engagement” metric that … well … doesn’t really do much. Why? Their metric tends to only show activity within that single social media tool.

Showing activity within a social media channel is ok. But is that getting more books checked out? Getting people to your programs? Getting people to your website? Nope.

I’ve been trying to get some useful ROI type stats out of all this social media I’ve been tracking. Here’s what I’ve discovered. If you have a better thing to count, please share!

I count two ROI trends:

1. Number of visits to the website per post created. For this number, I divide the total referrals for the month into the number of posts we create, to get the final number. For example, in May we had 865 total referrals and 204 total social media posts. So divide that (and round up), and you get 4. Which means for every social media post we created in May, we achieved four visits to the website.

Again, we’re talking trends here – it’s not an exact science. But still, this stat does show that when staff create social media posts, they drive traffic to our website. Bingo – ROI.

2. Number of interactions per post created. This is similar, but a bit more lightweight. Divide the monthly engagement metric total by the number of posts created for the month. For May, we ended up with 94 interactions per post created.

Lightweight, but tells a nice story. For every post we did in May, we got people to do something – click like, share, comment, favorite, retweet, or watch – 94 times.

Why’s this good? It means they’re interested enough in our content, and therefore the library, to remember it, to share it, to add their thoughts to it. To respond in some way to it. Not a bad thing at all – interest in the library is a good thing!

So – that’s what we’re doing at the moment. What are you tracking? Is it similar? Please share!

Pic from Simon Cunningham

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In this series of articles, I’ve been talking about what types of social media analytics my library tracks. We’ve already discussed Activity Metrics, Audience Metrics and Engagement Metrics. Today we’ll cover Referral Metrics.

Time for referral metrics. What’s that? A referral is simply getting someone from one thing to another (i.e., you’ve “referred them”). For example, from Facebook to your website. Thankfully, Google Analytics now counts referrals.

To get there, open up Google Analytics. Go to Acquisition, then click Social, then Network Referrals.

There, you’ll find a handy-dandy report of website visitors that started off in a social media page, and ended up on your website. I count the Sessions number for each of the four social media channels that I’m tracking, and then add those together. For May, we had 865 referrals to our website from social media.

This is a pretty useful number, because it shows interest. Someone was interested enough in something you mentioned on one of your social media channels to actually click through to your website. Nice!

Pic by Stuart Pilbrow

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In this series of articles, I’ve been talking about what types of social media analytics my library tracks. We’ve already discussed Activity Metrics and Audience Metrics. Today we’ll cover Engagement Metrics.

Now for the geekier metrics… Engagement metrics! What’s engagement? I’m counting it as stuff people actually DO on your social media channel. That includes activities like: Liking, Sharing, clicking a link, repinning, watching the video, leaving a comment, replying, ReTweeting, etc.

Here’s what we track:

Facebook: Facebook, with their HUGE amounts of analytics, makes it difficult to count an accurate “here’s what people did” number. Their stats are more geared towards weekly trend reports, and not so much for reporting monthly numbers. But never fear – it can be done!

Here’s what I do (if there’s a better way to do it, please let me know!) – download the Excel version of Facebook Insights for the month. (As an aside, do this anyway and check out all the data Facebook provides. There is a TON of it). I use the stat for Daily Page Engaged Users, and just add up the daily numbers for the month. Daily Page Engaged Users reports “The number of people who engaged with your Page. Engagement includes any click or story created. (Unique Users)”. For May, we had 5478 people who engaged in some way with our Facebook Page.

Twitter: For Twitter, I get my number by downloading the monthly excel version of stats for Twitter, and then counting a bunch of activity and engagement columns, including:

  • retweets
  • replies
  • favorites
  • user profile clicks
  • URL clicks
  • hashtag clicks
  • detail expands
  • permalink clicks
  • embedded media clicks
  • app opens
  • app install attempts
  • follows
  • email tweet

831 for May total.

Youtube: No spreadsheet needed here (though you could download one if you wanted to!). Youtube’s analytics provides a handy month filter, and an engagement section on the main page of analytics. So I add up the Likes, Comments, Shares, and Favorites for the month. I also include the number of views. Pretty important for a video service!

So for May, we had 67 total engagement (favorites, comments, likes, and shares) and 12,565 views.

Pinterest: Excel spreadsheet time again. We count Repins and Clicks. So for May, we had 212 repins and clicks in Pinterest.

Then, like all the other stats, I schmush those number together to come up with Total Engagement for the month. For May, our total engagement was 19,153. That’s a lot of people doing a lot of stuff!

Button pic by Quinn Dombrowski

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In this series of articles, I’ve been talking about what types of social media analytics my library tracks. We’ve already discussed Activity Metrics. Today we’ll cover Audience Metrics.

This is also an easy one! We monitor some really basic trends in audience growth by counting how many followers we have each month.

Again, this is an easy one to count. Simply go to each channel’s main page at the first of the month, and write down how many followers you have.

Then I do some simple math to figure out how many new followers we gained across all our social media channels.

So for example – in May, we had:

  • Facebook – 12,429 followers
  • Twitter – 4338 followers
  • Youtube – 384 subscribers
  • Pinterest – 1704 followers – on our main account page. Pinterest is weird, since they have followers for the whole Pinterest account, and followers for each individual board. We are only counting followers to the main page.

Then I look at last month’s numbers, do some more addition, and … we gained 130 social media followers in May.

Why track this?

  1. It shows growth over time. Not a bad thing. Sorta like a door count or basic use stats.
  2. It shows trends. If there’s a lot of growth, or a big drop-off, that’s a signal to find out more.

Are there other types of Audience Metrics that you track? Please share!

Image by Marc Cornelis

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In this series of articles, I’m talking about what types of social media analytics my library tracks. Today we’ll cover Activity Metrics.

Activity – this one’s easy. How many posts, pins, videos, etc have we made this month? I count each of them so I have a total for each month (most social media tools have a downloadable Excel spreadsheet report that makes counting easy).

For example, in May, here’s what my library did:

  • Facebook – 91 posts
  • Twitter – 93 tweets
  • Youtube – 5 videos
  • Pinterest – 15 pins.

Then I lump all of those together, so that I have a total Activity number for each month. In May, my library created a total of 204 social media posts.

Why do we count this? Two reasons:

  1. It’s important to see what staff are doing and where we’re spending time. If there’s a jump or a lag on an individual social media channel, we can easily see it through the monthly numbers. Then, we can figure out what happened (i.e., someone went on vacation, someone got excited about something, more customers asked questions so we posted more, etc.).
  2. For some special ROI stats that I will share later!

What do you count? I’d love to find out!

Image by Stephen Coles

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