You can’t survive in today’s business climate without social media marketing. While the cost to entry (i.e. setting up an account) is low, the upkeep of a social media strategy takes significant resources. In relation to the seven P’s of marketing (read our take on that here), social media marketing is definitely a part of promotion.

But how do you know if you’re achieving results? This brings up the question of performance. Like all facets of your marketing strategy, social media requires tracking specific metrics–such as customer conversions on your website–and tying them back to business goals.

Most social media platforms allow companies some insight into their reach. Facebook gives company pages a fairly detailed dashboard with data and attributes on your “fans.” You can always track your number of followers, as well as comments, retweets, mentions and the like. But no social media platform can tie into your various data sources. You need a partner to help make sense of all the disparate data sources.

In an article published by the social media management program Hootsuite, the authors list 19 metrics you can use to measure your social media strategy. Some are easy to calculate (such as post reach and audience growth), but others require competitors’ data. Social share of voice (SSoV) for instance, is the share of your brand’s mentions versus those of competitors. If you’re lucky enough to only have a few competitors, you may be able to track this on your own. More likely, you have a lot of competitors to keep track of and it is nearly impossible to track all the mentions without an automated system. Luckily, plenty of companies aggregate and sell this data. But what then? You need one place to collect disparate data sources from your own products and that of competitors. That place is Ironbridge’s Netbench. Now you can truly see your SSoV and so much more.

“A lot of manufacturers know they should be leveraging their e-marketing data, but they don’t know where to begin,” says Mike Dickenson, CEO of Ironbridge Software. “We bridge those gaps for our clients,” he adds.

One of the challenges of working with big data is, of course, that it’s big. All of our digital activity generates data and it can be overwhelming to put so much information to use. That’s why Netbench takes the metrics you care about and make the data work for you. With real-time capabilities, you can access your dashboard as often as you need to and make data-driven decisions. What do these decisions look like?

Let’s say your company is using several social media platforms to market a product. Your team can track which social media posts are tied to increased sales. Netbench can let you know that your Instagram video of a product application performs really well; and you can direct your team to produce more of that type of content. Sure, Instagram will show how many views you received, but only a product like NetBench can track actual sales that correlate to that content.

Is your social media strategy tied directly to revenue goals? If not, it’s time to get serious about this tool. Contact Ironbridge today to learn more about our suite of products.

Written by Kim Kelly Consulting