Proving the value of social media is one of the more difficult tasks that I have as an online marketer. The two questions that I am asked most often by clients are, “What is the best way for me to engage my audience on social media?” and “How can I measure the results of social media marketing?” As I muddle my way through an explanation that includes some of the buzz words like “reach” and “impressions”, I am somewhat comforted by the fact that even large companies struggle to define the return of their investment in social media.
Those businesses that are most vested in social media measure their success with two measurements, “reach” and “resonance”. Reach is defined as the number of unique people who see a post when it appears in a news feed. Impressions, on the other hand, are the number of times a post from a page is actually displayed. The number of impressions is likely to surpass the number reached as one person may see the same post multiple times.
Resonance measures engagement – the number of comments, likes, and shares that a post receives. Most businesses engage in social media in an attempt to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. However, both “reach” and “resonance” can be analyzed and used to drive traffic to the company website and ultimately help them to reach sales and marketing goals.