How to Establish the Best Social Media KPIs for Your Content Marketing Goals

How to Establish the Best Social Media KPIs for Your Content Marketing Goals 946 521 C-Suite Network
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For many content marketers, social media strategy never gets beyond the spray-and-pray process of sharing a new piece of content with the widest audience possible, and then measuring if anybody engaged with it. It’s based on an idea that if you just keep creating new content and pushing it out, results will come.

But, as Jonathan Crossfield puts it, “In social media, the audience pulls the strings.”

As content marketers, we must take a step back. Just as we put time into creating a content marketing strategy, so too do we need to create a social media strategy specifically tailored to our content goals. And this begins with establishing the right social media KPIs (key performance indicators) for those content goals.

After all, if our social media strategy is built around intuition rather than KPIs, it’s unlikely to serve our content well.

Social media strategist Jeremy Goldman knows a thing or two about this. He’s the author of Going Social and Getting to Like, and he’s the founder of Firebrand Group, a brand management consulting firm that counts L’Oréal and Unilever among its many clients.

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CCO: Going Social was published four years ago, and yet still contains lessons for today’s social media strategists. What are the most significant changes since then?

Goldman: When Going Social was about to come out, I was freaking out for the reason you just stated … social media moves so fast. How do you write a book like that without it immediately becoming outdated? I realized I had to avoid writing about the mechanics of how you respond to comments on Facebook or how you participate in a Twitter chat since those could easily change at any moment. Instead, I focused on how social media is based on the principles of communication that have predated social media by a few millennia.

As for the most significant changes? That’s easy. Social media is pay for play, and good luck running any meaningful strategy purely around organic reach. When I wrote Going Social, mid-sized businesses could actually find ways to get creative and win at social media without a paid media budget. Oh, how times have changed.

CCO: In the context of content marketing, how do you wade through the seemingly infinite social media metrics to get to the social media KPIs?

Goldman: First, it’s completely normal to get metrics and KPIs mixed up to some extent. In fact, I’ve seen people at even senior levels flub this. Metrics are simply measurements quantified. KPIs are metrics that you’ve determined are mission critical to your business.

You touch on something very important here: These days we can measure more than ever before. However, that isn’t necessarily a good thing in that it causes some organizations to lose focus. Just because we…