When starting a content marketing campaign, the first way to measure success is to identify what success looks like. Are you looking for Facebook 'likes'? Retweets? Blog post shares? E-book downloads? The adage of "You can't manage what you don't measure" starts with knowing what you're measuring. Once your key performance indicators (KPI) are defined, you can then have a yardstick to measure the performance of the campaign. By determining these metrics beforehand, you can begin to compare the data against the goals of the campaign.
Simply defining your KPIs isn't enough, however. You must also make sure that your campaigns are reaching the right people. If your vintage motorcycle blog post links are being retweeted by a kid with 14 followers, that might not be a quality share for your business. This may be a little over the top, but the point is valid. For example, you want to use the search function on Twitter and use terms related to your industry. Then begin following and engaging with those folks.
On the other end, if you're getting comments on the post or Facebook shares by influencers in your industry, then you are winning. To measure this version of success, you will need to know not only who you want to target, but to make sure to engage them with a call to action.
All of those retweets and pageviews are great, but there's one last indicator of your marketing campaign's effectiveness - sales! That's right, revenue. Income. Profit. Is your marketing successful if you don't sell anything? Marketing, as we know, is how you express your company or product's value to potential customers, so naturally it follows that if our marketing is driving sales, then it is successful. However, could it be *more* successful? That's where A/B or split testing comes in. You will want to constantly experiment with your social media strategy so that you know what works and what does not. You can let the numbers determine your course.
By following these foundational guidelines, you can establish some metrics that will help measure and steer the course of your social strategies.