LONDON/NEW YORK: While social is coming to be regarded as a broadcast medium, its interactivity means that sharing is still a coveted action and one that can turn a customer into a brand ambassador who further increases the reach of branded content.

In a Warc Best Practice paper, How to select the right metrics for social media, Tania Yuki, CEO and founder of Shareablee, observes that social media has become the "quintessential tool" for brands and content producers to interact with consumers for many reasons.

But "Figuring out how to create the type of content that resonates with your audience and entices them to amplify your messaging can't be done without evaluating the right metrics," she says.

Fortunately, there are three building blocks that consistently apply to social strategies – regardless of industry – and which will enable marketers not only to measure their social media results, but to compare them to those of their competitors.

The first of these are the core social media metrics of the unique engaged audience, impressions and views, consistent activation and amplification: "Understanding these … is the starting point for any brand looking to connect with an audience and convert them to customers or subscribers."

These are followed by content strategy metrics, which include content type, time of day/day of week combinations and calls to action. These "illuminate the tactics that produce the most compelling content, providing ways to benchmark your social results and gain awareness of marketplace best practices".

Finally, audience quality metrics evaluate fans' and followers' social interactions and behaviours to help gain an understanding of their core values and what activates them.

"This is the biggest untapped resource when it comes to social media," Yuki states. "There's a lot to be learned here that can have broad applicability across all areas of business."

"Imagine knowing the audience so well that it enables a marketer to understand how best to reach them using other mediums. Or even what products and services they'll prefer, which could drive long-term planning decisions.

"There is no downside to knowing why people hand you their money and laud your successes on social."

Readers wanting to know more about what the top social media campaigns have in common can get an exclusive analysis from renowned marketing expert Peter Field of this year's Warc Prize for Social Strategy winners.

Data sourced from Warc