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Social Media Analytics: The Importance of Conversion, Participation Rates

When you’re looking at measuring the effectiveness of your agency’s approach to social media, try to focus on data that helps you understand whether your efforts influenced action.

Most mainstream social media platforms have some amount of usage and performance data available to profile administrators. What type of data is important to analyze as a social media manager?

The easiest figure to note is how many followers your profile has. But what does that alone tell you about the effectiveness of your social media presence? While a large number of followers is great, properly interpreting how social media achieved real-world results is even better.

Why Measure Conversion?

Conversion, as it relates to government social media, is a fancy term describing a passive fan who takes an action. For example, a Facebook fan who clicks on your post to register for a class or opt in to a mailing list counts as a conversion. 

Data can be collected that helps to show your agency’s conversion rate. The rate refers to what percentage of fans actually converted to action. If your social media conversion rate for a campaign encouraging fans to opt in to a department’s email list is .05 percent, you might want to rework your messaging and strategy.

If you’re attempting to drive citizens to a page on your agency’s website, you can use analytics to track the percentage of traffic that comes to that page from social media. Better yet, measure the social media traffic that makes it all the way to the confirmation page for that particular campaign. Users who get to the confirmation page can truly be counted as conversions.

It’s relatively easy to measure conversions if you spend money on paid social media advertising. For instance, Facebook offers a tracking pixel that you can embed in the code on your website’s confirmation page. If a citizen clicks on your Facebook ad, then signs up on your website, they will be tracked for you by Facebook ad insights as conversions.   

How to Track Participation

It is arguably easier to measure online conversion using Web analytics and tracking features than it is to measure offline participation. But ultimately, getting citizens to actually participate in your meetings and events due to your social media campaign can be worth its weight in gold.   

How many offline participants did your social media efforts generate? If you are promoting an event, how many people came to that event specifically because they learned about it on social media? You might incorporate an online RSVP, which can be tracked via analytics to see if the participant arrived there from social media. If that is not plausible, taking the time to incorporate an event survey might help you understand what got participants there.  

When you’re looking at measuring the effectiveness of your agency’s approach to social media, try to focus on data that helps you understand whether your efforts influenced action. If citizens aren’t participating, it’s time to tweak your approach by replicating what you learned from your highest-converting posts.

Kristy Dalton is known as "GovGirl" in the government technology industry. She has been called on as an industry influencer and has a passion for social media, technology and digital strategy. Kristy is the founder & CEO of Government Social Media.
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