9 metrics all financial advisors must knowArticle added by Amy McIlwain on May 27, 2013
Amy McIlwain

Amy McIlwain

Denver, CO

Joined: August 26, 2010

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Let’s talk about something that is always brought up during conversations about social media and business — the return. Are Facebook and Twitter just fluffy tools that have no direct benefit for business growth?

While hot leads might not automatically come banging on your door, social media will greatly enhance your existing lead generation efforts. Here is a snapshot of the many ways this occurs:
  • Helps you mingle in the places where your prospects are
  • Directs people to your website/offers
  • Improves event promotion
  • Provides more avenues for partnerships
  • Builds credibility and trust
  • Increases brand exposure
But let’s face it, financial professionals want hard, cold data, right? Not high fives, “likes”, tweets” and warm fuzzies. Here are nine metrics and tools that you should monitor to determine the quantitative effectiveness of your social media initiatives.

1. Unique website visits

Many businesses don’t monitor their unique and/or repeating website visitors, but both metrics are very important for distinct reasons. Unique website visits represent the total number of new people that visit your website during a specific period of time, not counting repeat visits. This metric is an awesome indicator of how well your content and marketing campaigns are driving traffic to your site. Look for an increase in unique website visits as you increase your use of social media marketing, during events and speaking engagements, and during major promotions.

2. Repeating website visits

Repeating website visits are a great indicator of how “sticky” your website is. If you have a high number of unique visitors, but a low number of repeat visits, it might be time to re-vamp your website and create more intriguing, engaging content on a consistent basis to keep people coming back. On the other hand, if you have a high number of repeat visits, but a low number of unique visitors, it may mean you should increase your efforts to promote your website via other promotional channels.

3. Organic traffic

No, organic traffic does not refer to pesticides or GMOs. In fact, it refers to the number of visits your site gets as a direct result of search engines. For instance, if Mary Smith Googles “retirement advisor in Hartford” and your business is the first thing that Mary clicks on, that would be considered an organic visit. Organic traffic is a great yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of your search engine optimization efforts. If organic traffic is high, give yourself a pat on the back. If it’s really low, it may be time to conduct an SEO overhaul.

4. Visits to website and conversions from social media

If you have HubSpot or another inbound marketing platform with analytics, it is beneficial to keep track of website visits and conversions that come from social media. This gives you a crystal clear idea of how much of your lead gen and visits are deriving from social media. Many companies pay thousands of dollars for print ads and traditional marketing, hanging on to the arbitrary notion that they are earning impressions. With social media, you will not only save money, but you can actually determine how many leads and conversions you are truly acquiring.

5. Followers and fans

This seems obvious, but it’s important to cover. Tracking followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (and Pinterest if you’re brave) is a great way to see how well your business is promoting and growing your social business pages. If you notice a plateau in follower growth, take a closer look at the possible reasons and trends that may play a role. If you notice an incline in likes, followers, and connections, take note of what you did differently that month or week to cause the spike. Remember, tis’ more important to have engaged followers than disengaged followers, so don’t make this metric the sole determinant of how successful your social media pages are.

6. LinkedIn company page views and followers

Didn’t think you could track engagement and followers on LinkedIn? Think again! With the LinkedIn company pages, businesses can monitor page visits, followers, unique visitors, visitor demographics and clicks on products and services pages. This data provides valuable insight about who is interested in your company the most. It also is a great indicator of how well you are driving traffic to your LinkedIn page via other channels.

7. @replies, re-tweets and @mentions

@replies, re-tweets, and @mentions on Twitter are a great indicator of how strong and interesting your company’s content is. Monitor the increases and decreases in @replies and @mentions on your Twitter handle to see what type of content and language resonates with your audience the most. Once you get a clearer picture of how engaged your audience is, create monthly and/or weekly goals for increasing engagement and interest.

8. Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics is a valuable and comprehensive tool that helps you determine how effective your Facebook efforts are. The tool aggregates data on the number of likes, weekly total reach (includes demographics and location) and the number of people talking about your business. It also contains data about the effectiveness of your postings — such as how many people it reached, how many people were engaged and post virility. To truly understand what works on your Facebook page, aim to keep track of trends, themes and patterns in how users engage with your content. Does your overall engagement go up when you post at 10:00 a.m. per day as opposed to 5:00 p.m.? Does your audience engage with content about college savings more than retirement? The more data you collect and analyze, the more you’ll learn about your audience and their needs. And ultimately you’ll increase your virility.

9. Blog traffic

Tracking the number of blog visits can be a golden nugget for business professionals. Blog traffic gives you an idea of what type of content your audience resonates with the most. It also tells you how well, or not so well, your blog circulation strategy is. For instance, last week I wrote a blog that got over 200 percent more visits and traffic than any previous blog I had written. This gave me some excellent insight into what my audience wants to see and hear and how my circulation efforts were.
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