SP-Foto 2019. Foto por Jéssica Mangaba.
Digital

Performance indicators: an introduction on social media metrics analysis for art galleries

Caio Blanco
27 May 2020, 11:24 am

We can no longer escape this truth that seems to want to impose itself at any cost on us: the post-Covid world will really be another one. Not only will interpersonal relationships have been altered, but the corporatist logic and how we perform our work will have to be sharply revised. The recent world crisis imposes an overwhelming pace of transformation on the market and, whoever wants to have any chance of surviving, will have to reshape their strategic processes so that they can support – and multiply – business methods and structures capable of walking freely in a new world of physical isolation and intense evolution.

Long before the new days of Covid-19, demand from the art market was already moving towards a digitalized destination, following the trend of other verticals. According to “The Art Market 2020 – An Art Basel and UBS Report”, online sales of works of art in 2019 generated almost US$ 6 billion and represented about 9% of the total sales of the market. Millennial collectors are the main online buyers and, according to the aforementioned study, 92% have already acquired artwortks over the internet. In addition, 36% of these collectors purchased up to US$ 50,000 and 9% of them bought over US$ 1 million – impressive numbers and collected even before the cancellation of art fairs around the world on account of the new coronavirus.

In this sense, it is imperative that art galleries solidify their online presence as quickly as possible and this journey necessarily involves strengthening their social networks. From new buyers to established collectors: they all consume content, exchange experiences and share their daily lives in the networks’ feeds. Knowing how to engage this audience through social platforms and being able to grab their attention in an infinite sea of ​​ads is a difficult task, but one that can become less complicated through the qualitative analysis of the metrics of your profiles on the networks. Understanding if your growth follows a healthy pace, if the relevance of your content generates engagement and if your message is reaching the right audience are some of the numerous metrics that we can quantify.

These digital indicators are called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): performance indicators that help us design more effective strategies for social networks. As an introduction to this world, we have listed below the main indicators to be monitored in networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. The intention of this article is to provide a basic overview of the metrics to support future in-depth publications on the topic.

Above: SP-Foto 2019. Photo by Jéssica Mangaba.

Reach

Reach refers to the number of unique users who viewed a certain content. It shows, therefore, how is the distribution of your publications among your base of followers or fans.

In most networks, we see a trend of decreasing reach due to changes in the algorithm. It is a way for companies like Facebook to boost paid reach, that is, to force investments in their ads and increase their revenue. That is why, increasingly, good reach necessarily involves investment in paid media.

SP-Foto 2019. Foto por Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Foto 2019. Photo by Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Arte 2019. Foto por Leo Eloy.

SP-Arte 2019. Photo by Leo Eloy.

Engagement

Engagement is the metric that measures audience engagement with your publication, taking into account the number of interactions (likes, comments, shares, etc.), which vary according to the network being analyzed.

An extremely important metric, engagement is the thermometer of the quality of the content produced for the network: good quality content tends to generate greater engagement.

However, analyzing engagement in isolation provides only quantitative notions. To better understand the quality of interactions, it is necessary to associate the analysis of engagement with the numbers of feeling.

SP-Arte 2019. Foto por Leo Eloy.

SP-Arte 2019. Photo by Leo Eloy.

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SP-Foto 2019. Foto por Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Foto 2019. Photo by Jéssica Mangaba.

Feeling

In addition to tracking the volume through engagement, it is important to observe the quality of interactions. A controversial publication, for example, can have a high number of interactions, however, these interactions can be negative, such as complaint comments. Analyzing feeling allows you to find out whether the publications please the audience in question or whether they generate negative reactions. This allows for studying new possibilities for actions and testing their effectiveness with a specific target audience.

SP-Arte 2019. Foto por Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Arte 2019. Photo by Jéssica Mangaba.

Growth by channel

In the same way that engagement measures the effectiveness of publications, monitoring the growth of each channel shows the results of its actions in general. A growing fan base shows an audience willing to engage with your content and points out that your actions in the digital environment are on the right track.

Care must be taken, however, so that the monitoring of this metric does not become a vain action: there is no point in increasing the number of followers if the engagement rate does not follow this trend. Better gradual and healthy growth, with participatory users, than a high number of followers who do not interact.

SP-Foto 2019. Foto por Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Foto 2019. Photo by Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Arte 2019. Foto por Leo Eloy.

SP-Arte 2019. Photo by Leo Eloy.

Click-through rate

Also called CTR, it makes possible to check how much of your audience, who was introduced to a particular content, clicked on it. Very useful metric to measure the quality of paid ads, the click rate is also decisive in content marketing strategies, in which social media content directs traffic to articles, blogs or other sites. A high click-through rate means people are interested in the content and click on it for more information.

SP-Arte 2019. Foto por Jéssica Mangaba.

SP-Arte 2019. Photo by Jéssica Mangaba.

It is clear that, when analyzing all these metrics, it is important that we put them in perspective: we are talking about social media strategies for art galleries, a specific market, whose information is not widely disseminated. That is why, in the absence of well-defined benchmarks, before starting the analysis, it is necessary that the galleries have their main objective in mind. It is what we call “conversion”. What is success for you in the digital environment? For some it is selling artworks online, for others, promoting the subscription of information on a form or promoting an exhibition. For each answer we give to this question, we have a different conversion. All digital marketing strategies – which go through social networks and the analysis of their metrics – must therefore start from the definition of this objective, this conversion, so that, throughout the process of analysis, we can always guide ourselves aiming the best expected end result.

Benchmarking is an in-depth strategic analysis of the best practices used by companies in the same sector as yours.


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Caio Blanco is the digital marketing specialist at SP-Arte. With a Bachelor of Laws from USP and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Leeds, UK, he has worked for companies such as Google and Socialbakers. He also leads the relationship strategies with SP-Arte partner galleries.

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