Social media stands out as one of the most powerful marketing tools of the 21st century, yet it’s not always easy to adapt its fun and freewheeling nature to the rigorous demands of B2B.
Sure, B2B decision-makers like to have fun as much as anyone else. When making choices that impact their bottom line, however, they want expertise more than enjoyment.
Squaring the social media circle has confounded plenty of B2B marketers. You can solve the mystery, at least in part, with the right metrics.
Data is the lifeblood of marketing in the digital era. Every lead, prospect, and customer leaves data – you just need to capture it. Unfortunately, the sea of data is so broad that it’s not difficult to end up chasing after useless “vanity metrics.”
It’s much easier to orient, organize, and maintain campaigns with the right metrics as a guide.
Let’s look at the five most useful social media metrics for B2B:
1. Website Traffic
Website traffic isn’t the only metric that matters – not by a long shot – but it’s the beginning of everything good in digital marketing. Your social media should be an engine of traffic for your site. After all, people can only convert when they come visit you.
2. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
It might take weeks or even months for your relationship with a lead to develop to the point of an MQL. Even so, this is the outcome you should always aspire to. It’s crucial to ensure that you have end to end attribution in place so you can measure social ROI at the end of the funnel.
Shares aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Think of social media networks as a set of concentric circles with your brand at the center: As people share, they go to more distant circles further from your target audience. Still, shares should be tracked to understand your audience’s content preferences.
4. Brand Mentions
Brand mentions are valuable because they give you opportunities to actively manage how your company is perceived. If you get negative feedback, you want to respond to it and truly address the speaker’s concerns. Positive feedback? Amplify and encourage it!
“Likes” and similar mechanisms deserve special mention as the biggest red herring of the social media world. Marketers who get involved chasing these can exhaust themselves, shifting assets away from conversion-focused metrics and diluting their efforts. Don’t fall for it!
Under the right circumstances, you can adapt social media to any kind of sales and marketing challenge. Many B2B marketers find that LinkedIn is the best use of their time – but these metrics will focus you for success on any network.