Measuring the Results from Your SMART Social Media Goals: Your First 100 Days Challenge

social media measurement

For the final article of this 3-part series — Your First 100 Days — we’ll use free analytics tools to measure the results from your SMART social media goals.

To recap, ​Part Onelooked at a SMART goal for Jenifer, who needs to promote her latest book. I recommended she go with her strengths, which are her Pinterest boards.

Part Two created an Action Plan for the SMART goal, identifying the tasks Jenifer needed to accomplish and breaking them down into monthly, weekly, and daily to-do’s.

Now let’s look at how to measure the results of your social media campaigns using freely available tools.

How Do I Measure Social Media ROI?

In my experience, very few business professionals actually measure the results of their social media campaigns. Instead, they generally track products sales or declines over time and assume that all of their marketing efforts — ads, trade shows, direct mail — contributed to the result.

Without actually tracking where those sales came from, you will never be able to repeat a success or correct a failure. Tracking ROI doesn’t have to be complicated, and I’ll show you how to do it simply.

1. Identify What to Measure

To measure success, you need to identify exactly what results you want to measure, and that all goes back to your SMART goals and Action Plan. In our case study, Jenifer wants to create a Pinterest campaign that sells 1,000 books, and start one week before her book launch.

In this case, Jenifer will be measuring book sales, as reported by her publisher. However, Jenifer has several other key factors she can measure that will result from her campaign:

  • ​Pinterest repins
  • ​Traffic to her site referred from Pinterest
  • ​Amazon sales rank
  • ​New lecture & workshop bookings
  • ​Additional publicity — interviews, book reviews, etc.

While these are not the immediate result of the SMART goal Jenifer identified, they are still major accomplishments that can often provide an even greater ROI than Jenifer’s original goal. Lectures and workshops are higher profit events than book sales, and often follow great book reviews. Traffic to her site can result in sales of other products, and Pinterest repins also offer higher visibility and brand recognition.

So these are all worthy of measuring. Where to start?

2. Benchmark Each Element to Measure

Before you can identify the success of your social media campaign, you need to document what your results were before it. So for each of the elements identified above, Jenifer needs to measure them before her campaign.

  • ​How many book sales did Jenifer receive during her Pinterest campaign? If possible, identify how many came from Amazon, publisher’s website, and other online sources (more likely to be related to an online Pinterest campaign).
  • ​How many Pinterest repins did Jenifer receive in the month before her campaign?
  • ​How much traffic did Pinterest refer to her website the month before her campaign?
  • ​What was the best Amazon sales rank for Jenifer’s previous books? What was the rank for this book before the Pinterest campaign?
  • ​How many new lecture & workshop requests does Jenifer receive the year following her Pinterest campaign? (Because quilt guilds set their program calendar years in advance, these requests come in long after the book is published).
  • ​How much additional publicity did Jenfier receive during & after her campaign?

3. How to Measure Each Element

It’s never been easier to measure results of social media, thanks to many free & low-cost online tools. Jenifer needs to take the lead here in measuring her own results, and not depend on her publisher. By doing so, she’ll have an earlier and clearer picture of how successful her Pinterest campaign has been than her publisher will. And she’ll be more likely to get another book contract to follow!

Here are the tools I recommend to measure Jenifer’s campaign:

Book Sales

Amazon AuthorCentral to track her online sales through Amazon; call her publisher after the campaign to get the sales results. While publishers do offer detailed reports on sales, they are often slow to report. Don’t wait for these.

Pinterest Repins

Pinterest board stats are shown for each board & pin:

social media measurement pinterest
repins social media measurement

Website Traffic Referred from Pinterest

Google Analytics or a simpler analytics tracking tool like Get Clicky or Performancing Metrics for website traffic measurement

Amazon Sales Rank

Amazon sales rank is shown on each book’s page in the editorial section

Additional Book Publicity

A Google Alert or saved search in Google+ for the title of Jenifer’s new book to track additional publicity

Lecture & Workshop Bookings

These will come directly to Jenifer and so will be easy for her to track.

4. Evaluate Results & Adapt for Future

Once Jenifer is able to measure her Pinterest campaign ROI, it’s essential she identify how close to her goal she came to selling 1,000 books. Did she meet the goal or surpass it? If so, what was the most successul part of her Pinterest campaign? Which of the above measurements saw the greatest increase? Which didn’t?

Even more importantly, did Jenifer enjoy her Pinterest campaign? For a previous book, she did a blog tour, but found it was a huge amount of work and didn’t results in the book sales she had hoped for.

Then, it’s time to celebrate. No matter what your results, if you set SMART goals, created an Action Plan, executed it, and measured your ROI, you’ve been a success. Most people never get this far. They may set a goal but often don’t follow through on it. By simply following these steps, you’ll be able to track your progress and create social media campaigns that you both enjoy and profit from.

Click here to access Part One of this series

Click here to access Part Two of this series




Maria Peagler is the founder of Maria Peagler Digital, a serial entrepreneur, and award-winning author/publisher of nine books. She is an award-winning artist in both watercolor and quilting. She is married to her husband of 30 years, mom to two adult sons, and enjoys hiking in the north Georgia mountains.