Must-Have Social Media KPIs for Building Products Brands
Article Date: November 15, 2023
Measurements for Continued Growth and Success
Over the past two decades, social media has evolved from a “nice to have” to a “must have” for a building products brand, whether your company manufactures insulation, insulated metal panels, cladding, windows and doors, or something else. Finding the right platforms for your brand (our tips on that here) while establishing a presence and consistently posting engaging, informative content is integral to your overall business strategy.
The instinct is to want to do “all the things” – promoting your products, highlighting star employees, and sharing exciting company developments. With discipline and planning, posting links, videos, and photos about your brand can easily become a daily routine. The question is, are you gaining ground with what you are posting? Are you reporting on the right metrics, and are you using that reporting to optimize your overall engagement?
Many building materials manufacturers lack a solid foundation to benchmark, analyze, and optimize their social media presence for continued growth.
Getting Started: Assessment and Goal Setting
Understanding how social media fits into your overall marketing matrix and what it is engineered to accomplish will help you lay the right foundation.
The first step is to determine how well your company’s social media program is currently performing and measuring that performance against industry benchmarks. Do you exceed the industry standard for B2B businesses on certain channels when it comes to engagement? Are you lagging? Knowing these numbers gives you a baseline for comparison.
The next move is to set attainable goals and objectives. To do this effectively, you need conduct an in-depth analysis of your target audiences, what you seek to accomplish on social media, and what channels are most appropriate to achieving those benchmarks.
First, what is your primary objective for social media? Is it awareness and follower growth? What about engagement and conversion? You want to schedule and generate content that gets people to react, whether they like the post, comment on it, or share it. The more they engage, the more your brand can generate visibility across your social media communities.
A solid presence on social media is the litmus test for the legitimacy of a brand, but simply being present on social media is not enough. Social media is one of the ways for you to get people to your website, which then gives them the opportunity to explore your products and services. As you confirm your goals, determine what you seek to accomplish by getting people over to your digital home.
Which channels do your target audiences choose when it comes to online engagement? Knowing this – and understanding how those audiences interact on those channels – can guide your channel selection strategy. Some channels are more focused on brand awareness and engagement, while others (Pinterest) are engineered for self-exploration. Perhaps you choose an array of channels for engagement but focus more attention on certain ones.
Measuring Success: The Goal Posts
With a firm strategy in place, it is now time to confirm how you will measure success over time. How do you know that you have hit the target – for next week, next month, or the next quarter?
First, identify key performance indicators (KPIs), which can then be reviewed on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis to benchmark progress. While you may not track every KPI in your recurring reports, incorporating metrics from these overall topics can help you stay organized and identify patterns for success.
Visibility encapsulates benchmarks such as page growth, impressions, and video views. Use these page- and post-level metrics in your reporting to gauge customer interest and brand awareness:
- Video views
- Post reach
- Follower count
- Audience growth rate
Engaging content goes hand in hand with growth and visibility on social media. The more engagement you drive, the more the algorithms for each platform favor your content. Look for reactions to gauge customer or employee satisfaction, and find your most shared or saved content for additional insights into customer interest:
- Pin saves
- Average engagement rate
- Hashtag performance analysis
Hashtags represent another way to generate greater engagement for your brand and its posts on social media. Initially used on Twitter (now X), hashtags are now widely used across the social media landscape. They follow the “#” sign and are included in the caption of a post. They utilize key words to categorize or group your posts under a specific heading, making the posts searchable and trackable. For instance, if your company manufactures energy-efficient exterior cladding made of fiber cement, you might choose hashtags such as #fibercement, #homecladding, #commercialconstruction, or #homerenovation to categorize the post on your channel and align it with related topics across the platform. Determining which hashtags are appropriate and effective for your brand and then incorporating them into your outreach can expand the reach of your social media efforts.
Link previews, captions with a call to action, and paid media call-out button options on ads indicate customers need to take action. Use UTM parameters to further track click throughs to your site from social media posts. Or go deeper with LinkedIn Conversion tags or Meta Pixels to track specific behaviors on your website. You will want to measure the following:
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Cost per click
- Sales revenue
Customer Satisfaction and Sentiment Indicators
Customer opinions and experiences can have substantial impact on how your brand is viewed. For this reason, monitoring sentiment is critical.
Social media management platforms such as Brandwatch and Hootsuite use sentiment analysis tools to gather comments and messages across the web and social media. You can use simple math formulas to calculate customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) related to your brand. You can also utilize native or CRM-based note taking integrations to follow up with customer care questions and more.
Online sentiment analysis tools typically analyze text for keywords related to positive and negative feedback, listing it as “positive,” “negative,” or “neutral” so that your brand can tune into the sentiment for reporting purposes.
Specific metrics to track include:
- Review ratings
- Brand mentions
Measuring Share of Voice
How well known is your brand amongst its competitors? What are people saying about your products, customer service, and more? Can your brand ride the wave of certain trends? Similar to measuring customer satisfaction, share of voice can be measured using insights tools like Brandwatch and Hootsuite to further gauge your brand’s presence on the web. Measure share of voice by reviewing these metrics:
- Brand mentions
- Branded #s and campaign #s
- Top topics
Other Best Practices
Consider these other tips to kick-start your social media reporting journey with actionable KPIs for your industry:
- Branch out to like-minded platforms to meet your audiences where they are: LinkedIn’s global B2B Marketing Benchmark report cites LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook as the top 3 platforms B2B businesses used to reach their audiences. Additionally, LinkedIn is known to host a large millennial audience that is most likely to also have a Facebook and Reddit profile. In addition, 82.6 percent of LinkedIn users are “highly likely” to use Instagram, YouTube (75.5%), and TikTok (50.6%).
- Establish advanced tracking parameters to further identify customer behaviors: Implement UTM tracking parameters to follow customers from the social media post onto a website or landing page. Use the campaign parameter to ID specific posts that perform particularly well, and lean into those assets more. You can also tap into your development team to create conversions via owned Meta Pixels, LinkedIn Tags, and Pinterest Tags. These tracking mechanisms are specific to each platform. They leave a trail from the social media post to the button click or form fill on a landing page. This provides your brand with visibility into what content is resonating with your target audience and the resulting journey they choose to take on your website.
The Key: Constant Optimization
Capturing the essence of your brand on social media is vital to any building product brand’s strategy going into 2024. Assessing your overall goals for each quarter, finding applicable content for your chosen platforms, and identifying actionable KPIs to measure results and optimize for the future can help to establish a solid foundation for a strong social media program, one that engages your prospects and customers and achieves desired results month after month.
Do this consistently, and your engagement on social media is primed to grow and contribute to the bottom line.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.