Social media marketing has helped businesses improve sales, leads and overall web visibility, but some companies have found it difficult to quantify its success. Many marketers agree that content sharing figures are a core social success metric.

While businesses using social media marketing have said the channel has become a competitive necessity, a report from Chief Marketer found that many are still unsure how to best measure a campaign’s success. For 39 percent of marketers, measuring the frequency content is shared across social is a telling metric – and one that directly links to a number of their social media goals.

Launching any campaign and then seeing increased leads and conversions typically means something is working, however, it can be difficult to peg the ultimate impetus for a sale. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they consider leads generated and sales attributable to social marketing to be a primary success metric. Other popular goals include increasing fans and followers (26 percent), driving greater website traffic (66 percent) and identifying which demographics are most interested in a product or service (47 percent).

To achieve these aims, 69 percent of respondents say they are implementing social sharing buttons on email and website content. Fifty-nine percent have started using original social content, rather than rehashing campaigns from other channels.

A common tactic that helps business improve social media marketing success and kickstart website traffic, is sharing website content on Twitter. Forty-eight percent of brands say they employ this tactic, according to Chief Marketer.

Businesses developing news content marketing, in particular, can increase the visibility of their articles by sharing them through Twitter. Brafton has reported that news content drives the majority of traffic to Twitter. Plus, recent studies show that any social media marketing campaign is most effective when paired with other channels, such as content marketing campaigns driven by a comprehensive SEO strategy. 

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.