Social listening metrics & KPIs: What (and how) to track

Anna Bredava
by Anna Bredava on April 15, 2020

In times of crisis, it’s important to make sure that all the business decisions you make lead to actual results. Of course, your business should always be result-oriented, but when the economic situation becomes unpredictable, it’s even more crucial not to waste any resources you have (be it time, money, or people) on something unrewarding.

Taking this into account, how do you ensure your business strategies are not being implemented in vain? How can you be certain that every step you take leads you towards your business goals? By evaluating these steps, of course! You’ve already read the headline, so you know what I’m talking about: key performance indicators. 

A KPI is a set of values that is used to measure the key drivers of your business performance. Remember that to get the most relevant insights out of performance evaluation you need to choose what KPIs to measure based on the goals you set for your business. Think of a KPI as some kind of a compass that helps you understand if you’ve chosen the right path to achieve your goals or not. 

Assigning specific KPIs to all your marketing activities helps guarantee their efficiency (or at least the ability to assess it). While social listening is widely used to inform all kinds of business decisions, not many marketing professionals try to incorporate social listening data into business KPIs. And they are missing out! If you take a look at your social listening analytics, you'll realize that many social listening metrics could be interpreted and used as key performance indicators.

Now, you’d think that since we are trying to explore how social listening metrics tie into business KPIs, the only part of business performance we are going to evaluate is social media marketing. That’s not true at all! Although you could use social listening statistics to assess your social media strategy, social listening data can bring valuable insights for all the business decisions you make, from product development to sales. Therefore, social listening metrics can be used to evaluate various aspects of your company and be tied to different KPIs. 

In this blog post, I want to show you how various social listening metrics correspond to the major business KPIs and how you can add social data to your business performance evaluation process.

Business KPIs and social listening metrics

Most of the KPIs that can be enriched by social listening data are customer-related KPIs. That’s only logical since in the majority of cases you’re monitoring mentions by your existing or potential customers. In this regard, the first KPI we’re going to discuss shouldn’t surprise you.

Business KPI: Brand awareness

This KPI is perhaps one of the most telltale measures of your marketing efforts, especially for companies and startups that are still new to the market. Brand awareness shows how many people in your target audience know about your company. It’s a great KPI to start your performance evaluation with since people have to be familiar with your brand before they can form some sort of relationship with it and start making purchasing decisions.

Detecting your brand awareness level can be difficult. Not only do you need to figure out a way to poll people, but you also have to hone in your research on your target audience, not just random people on the streets. The good news is, social listening can solve both of these problems. Awario provides users with several social listening statistics that can help determine your brand awareness levels.

Reach of mentions

If you want to find out your brand awareness level, reach is a perfect metric to do that. It literally showcases how many times your brand name was seen online. 

You might be wondering why I chose this metric and not the number of mentions but reach is a much better indicator of your brand awareness. When we look at the number of mentions, we assign the same weight to each mention, but it’s not an appropriate tactic for calculating brand awareness. An Instagram post from an influencer and a tweet from a casual Internet user affect your brand awareness in dramatically different ways, that’s why the reach of the mentions is so important.

To track brand awareness with Awario, you need to create an alert monitoring your brand name. You can also create alerts for specific products, if you, for example, want to determine brand awareness for a new launch. Once you’ve done that, go to the Mention Statistics report and see your overall reach as well as statistics for specific countries, platforms and so on. With time passing, you’ll be able to see brand awareness general trends and make conclusions about the lasting effects of your marketing strategy.

Share of voice

This metric helps you put your performance into context and benchmark your brand awareness against your competitors. Share of voice (or SOV for short) shows you how much of your niche you take up in comparison to your rivals.

In addition to your brand alert, you’ll need to create alerts with the names of your competitors, one for each. Then go to the Alert Comparison report, select the necessary alerts and voila, you get your share of voice. Awario shows you the comparative analysis for each social media platform and country, so you can see which segments of the market are taken by you or your competitors respectively.

Business KPI: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

You surely remember the common saying “the customer is always right”. Indeed, happy customers make successful businesses — however, it's difficult to calculate "happiness". You're not going to measure the size of a smile your customer gets when buying your product.

The traditional way to measure CSAT is by surveying and polling your clients, but there are a few downsides to these methods. Firstly, it can be quite tricky to motivate your customers to answer your questions. Some businesses offer various incentives and rewards for completing surveys, but even then people are really unwilling to take time to respond to questions. And secondly, the nature of a poll or a survey makes them quite limiting tools: customers won’t tell you something important if you don’t ask about that. They will be affected by the way you phrase and pose the questions, so a survey can never be 100% unbiased. 

Social listening is a perfect solution to these problems! People express their opinions on the Internet organically, which makes Awario a perfect tool to measure your customers’ satisfaction. The most important social listening metric here will be the sentiment.

Sentiment score

Many social listening tools, including Awario, offer sentiment analytics. Essentially, the tool uses language processing algorithms to determine whether a social post expresses positive, negative or neutral emotions and then aggregates all this data to show the overall sentiment around your brand and products.

To monitor your sentiment score, all you need to do is to create a monitoring alert with the name of your brand and your products or services. Awario will immediately start to collect and analyze mentions to show you the shares of positive, negative and neutral posts mentioning your company. 

Tracking your sentiment score over time shows the changes in your CSAT, but it can also be useful to look at individual mentions. Awario lets you filter your Mention feed to see only the mentions with a specific sentiment which can help identify why your customers love or hate your product (depending on the sentiment you choose to focus on).

Net Promoter Score

If CSAT shows how happy your customers are, NPS shows how willing they are to infect others with this happiness (too soon?). Net promoter score is used to show how likely your customers are to recommend your product or service. Typically, it’s calculated based on customer surveys or the leads you get from your referral program if you have one set up.  

The great thing about social listening is that it collects publically available data, meaning that Awario collects and analyzes posts that are published to be seen by users’ followers. If your customer is complementing your product or recommending it in a Twitter reply, what is this if not net promotion? This KPI fits perfectly with the number of positive mentions. 

The number of positive mentions

This is quite self-explanatory: the more positive public mentions you have, the higher your NPS. It’s essentially a part of the sentiment analytics so you don’t need to set up a separate alert just to calculate the number of positive mentions. The only thing I’d suggest is adding a link to your landing page if you sell your products online. That way you can see the number of positive mentions which may directly lead to conversion.

Conversion Rate

Speaking about conversions, let’s talk about your boss’s favourite KPI — conversion rate. Conversion rate shows how many of your leads end up actually purchasing your product and therefore has a direct correlation with your revenue. 

The problem is, the relation between this KPI and social listening metrics is a bit less straightforward than other KPIs I covered above. You can’t really use social listening to determine how many people got in your sales funnel … or can you? Awario makes it possible through its Awario Leads module.

The number of social leads

So how do you count your conversion rates using social listening? Well, to enrich your sales KPIs with social listening data you need to make it social, meaning you have to get involved in lead generation on social media. Chances are you are already posting CTAs on social, but I’m talking about something different. I’m talking about actively seeking out people who want to purchase a product or a service like yours and instantly engage with them.

It might sound like a tall task, but Awario Leads makes it as easy and non-demanding as possible with automation. All you need to do is set up your Leads alert. This will require a short description of your product and the names of your competitors. Once you finish setting it up, Awario Leads will start looking for people expressing interest in a product like yours or people unhappy with your competitors, giving you a perfect opportunity to get a new customer. 

If you create a trackable link for your social selling efforts, you’ll be able to see an actual conversion rate (number of purchases divided by the number of engaged leads). 

If you want to have a successful business, you need to understand what’s happening with each and every part of your company. However, we sometimes fall into the fallacy of measuring just for the sake of measuring. At the other end of the spectrum, we have a different error: having an amazing analytics tool at your disposal and not using it to its full potential. 

In this article, I tried to solve both aspects of this problem: on the one hand, emphasize that every metric we track should give us valuable insights, and on the other hand show the power of a tool like Awario and its benefit for your business beyond social media marketing. I’m sure there are many more connections between social listening metrics and business KPIs — if you think of any, let me know in the comments!

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