Measuring a Contest without Traditional Media

Many articles that attempt to give advice on social media end up giving common sense. Common sense is great, but it’s not scientific, and without a how to guide it is often difficult to implement.

A quick search of Social Media Promotions will return a bunch of Google results that look like this:

Measure everything!
Know your goals!

These are great, but umm…how do you go about doing this exactly? I’m going to try to break it down with some real steps for you.

First, why do you need to do all of this measuring?

  1. Because the client wants it. At the end of a campaign, the client is going to want to know how it went. “It went well” will likely not suffice. Numbers and data that show just how well it went will keep the client happy.
  2. Because you invested resources in it. There is a myth in social media that since Facebook and Twitter are free, they are easy. However, it takes time to maintain those accounts and design online promotional materials. You want to know if this investment was worth it.
  3. Because you want to do it again. If you had a great promotion, you want to be able to share these numbers as proof that these promotions work and you can do more.

Second, measure those goals! Here is an example from a contest we recently did:

  1. The client wanted to increase his business financially. Ideally this promotion would make him a return on investment.
  2. He wanted to increase awareness of his business online. This isn’t just social, his website, reviews of his service, all needed to be increased.
  3. We had goals, too! We wanted to show off that we could do this kind of promotion!
Daily visitors snapshot
A snapshot of daily visitors from Google Analytics.

Now, turn these goals into something measurable! Here’s how:
Financial: Our promotion gave away gift certificates. We had our designers create unique certificates for each winner. This allowed us to track the amount each winner spent when they used the certificate. From this we can get an idea if winners will spend more, and what they purchase. We also get a direct ROI.

Awareness: I know those common sense blogs tell you that likes and followers aren’t the best metric, but the trends in likes and followers is key. From our promotion our client gained a lot of new followers. We expect that after about a week post contest, some of those followers will drop off. This formula is important:

(Net New Likes from promo start to end)
– (Loss of likes from end to end +1 week)
= Loyal Likers

These loyal likers are key, by keeping in touch with us they are demonstrating that they are new members to our brand community.

Showing Off: Testing for ourselves is a bit more technical. We wanted to track how easy the contest form was to fill out. Do people go to the page and bounce? How many. Do people attempt to submit without all the information, what don’t they want to fill out? Do people share this form with others? Was our promo nice enough that people want to pass it around?

You have your goals and measures, you’ve given them to the client, you’re done right? One more step!

This blog and others like it are great best practices for these kind of promotions, but creating a specific best practices for the brand will allow you to really understand their community, and tailor the next promotion to them. This may sound tedious, the promotion is done. Spending no more than an hour (you’ve already analyzed the data for the client), pick out the key points on what works for this brand and what doesn’t. What you will do differently next time and what worked this time. Share this internally. Designers, creators, developers, and client managers can get a glimpse of the brand’s community which they might not have had before.

What did we miss? Are you still not sure how you get those goals to measurements? Or why you even need to measure? Leave a comment and we will do our best to come up with an answer!


Blade Brain Trust

The Blade Brain Trust brings you relevant insights to help you build your brand community.

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