7 Ways to Measure B2B Social Media Performance
If you’re running a B2B company then both your social media and SEO efforts should focus on slightly different priorities than a B2C business’s would normally focus on.
B2C is all about attracting a certain number of customers by displaying an attractive price and a well developed product. B2B, on the other hand, is more about the people than the actual products.
If you’re running a B2B business you need to focus on convincing other businesses that you are the best to work with, not necessarily that you offer the cheapest services.
These small differences create completely new challenges in terms of SEO and social media. Even though some promotional actions might be quite similar for both B2C and B2B efforts, you still need to develop a new way of measuring your performance. The fact is that just because something was important in B2C relations, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be equally as important in B2B relations.
1. Sales and New Deals
This is the most obvious way of measuring performance in any scenario imaginable. No matter if you’re a B2B company or a B2C company you are still selling something, so your bottom line is what truly matters at the end of the day.
Every SEO and social media campaign can be precisely measured if it’s set up properly. You should always track your links and offers you’re publishing anywhere on the internet. If you’re mentioning your new service on social media make sure that the link you’re using is one that can be tracked all the way to a single sale being made. After such a campaign you will be able to tell what your CTR’s and conversion rates were.
Clicks are the focus point of many different internet-based efforts. By measuring the number of clicks your social media campaigns have received you can tell how effective your message is. Also, by doing some split testing you can find out what’s the best possible message for you and your business.
Clicks can be tracked when you’re using an external tool for spreading your social media messages. For Twitter you can use Buffer. Apart from its main functionality of queuing your tweets, it also provides you with data about the number of clicks your links have received.
For every other social network you can simply use Bit.ly, which is great at tracking clicks. It not only shows you raw numbers, but also a graphical representation of your results.
3. New Social Media Actions
Every social network has its own individual actions users can do, that are unique to that specific social network. Facebook has shares and likes. Twitter has tweets and retweets. Google has +1’s. And every social media campaign you create will receive a number of each. No matter which social network you’re using they all have well developed measuring mechanisms. You can easily check how many retweets, +1’s, or likes you message has received, and this is exactly what you should do.
That being said, B2B work is more about quality than quantity. The raw number of actions is not that important here. What is important, however, are the kind of people that stand behind those actions. If some respectable brands from your niche are talking about you then you’re surely going the right way.
4. SEO Rankings of Your Social Media Pages
No matter what market you’re in you always want to become the most visible brand there, and social media can help you with that big time. Major social networks are all quite recognizable domains with lots of SEO value. That’s why it’s much easier to reach no. 1 rank on Google for certain keywords by creating a page on those networks than by doing it on a completely new domain. This is just one of the reasons why things like fan pages, and custom Twitter profiles are so popular.
Once you create a fan page or a Twitter profile for your business it’s good to start monitoring search engine rankings of these pages. Every fan page and every Twitter profile has its own unique URL which can be easily monitored. And of course, the higher you rank the better. Also, you don’t have to monitor your pages manually; you can use a tool like Market Samurai, or something similar.
5. Social Media Buzz
Every campaign (hopefully) has a viral aspect to it. But not everyone will mention your link or your Twitter username every time they say something about you or your business. That’s why it’s good to have some additional tools to measure this kind of social media buzz.
Google Alerts has been the go-to tool for such tasks for years now, and it’s still really effective, so you can keep using it with confidence. Additionally, there’s a new tool, designed specifically for Twitter (Google Alerts for Twitter, so to speak) – it’s called Twilert. The idea is that you input your brand name or your main keywords and the tool starts monitoring the social media space to see what people (or other businesses) are talking about you.
6. New Links as a Result of Your Social Media Campaigns
Every social media campaign will result in some new links pointing to your business. It’s your job to notice those links so you can tell whether your campaign was effective or not.
That being said, there’s actually no accurate way of telling whether someone linked to you as a result of one campaign or the other. However, you can still notice an overall trend and assign it to a given campaign if you see a significant gain in links over a short period of time.
You can monitor the links coming to your site by using a tool like Majestic SEO or, again, Market Samurai (which actually uses Majestic SEO’s data).
7. New LinkedIn Connections and Twitter Followers
This is the last idea on this list, but it surely isn’t the least. LinkedIn is still the top professional social network, and if you’re serious about your B2B efforts this is the place where you absolutely have to be present.
LinkedIn is great for finding new B2B clients, partners, and even spying on your competition. If you have a large network of contacts you can leverage it to bring more business through your door. Make sure to focus on researching your niche and finding new people that seem worthy to reach out to. Those people can become your business partners themselves or introduce you to their contacts.
Twitter followers are a different story. These days, people tend to follow anybody just for the sake of it, so it’s not about the quantity. But it still is about the quality of your connections. Every once in a while take a look at your new followers, and try to identify people important in your niche. If you find such a person you can consider reaching out to them directly … as they have already made the first step by following you.
It’s up to you to choose which of these 7 tips you want to implement in your business, but just keep the following advice in mind.
Make sure that your brand is visible in all the important places, and always focus on the quality of your social media interactions and campaigns.
This should take you a long way and make social media a valuable part of your strategies.
Finally, please share your own ways of measuring social media performance. We are curious to know your opinion.