Data has been the Achilles’ heel of social media adoption since its inception. What do we measure? Where do we look? How do we figure out ROI? These and many other questions often arise when those who do not fully understand social media try to figure out “why” they should be involved. Let’s take a look at the two most popular channels and metrics that can help determine your success.
When it comes to Facebook, the metric looked at right away is Likes. It’s the most front-facing and sexy number on Facebook. It sounds nice to say that you have a bunch of likes. Unfortunately, it may be the most meaningless number for your brand. A Like shows interest, but it doesn’t show engagement. There are other measurements on Facebook that can tell you much more:
As for Twitter, an early measure of success revolved around the follower ratio. For example, of four times as many people follow you than you follow, then you were doing great! Here’s the thing, isn’t the point of social media to be a part of a conversation? Don’t most conversations have at least two people in them? While there is some logic in not following too many people because it would be difficult to effectively follow a stream with 100,000 people, engagement and conversation are still part and parcel of the social media process. So, how do we measure our efforts on Twitter?
All of these metrics help you monitor how people feel about your brand, what they want from your brand, what they like and dislike about your brand, what they expect from your brand and, most importantly, if your brand is doing a good job at delivering your brand’s promises.
Even though these numbers may not lead directly to your bottom line, they do help you determine ways to better serve your customers which will certainly affect your revenues. The key is for you to determine, for your brand, which metrics are most important. You should measure all of them, but by determining which the range of importance for each one, you can now begin to assign value to these metrics and from there you can figure out how your social media actions affect both your bottom line and your brand’s lifetime customer value.
The choice is yours. Be sure to take advantage of the numbers in front of you. They are sure to help.
Author bio: Gary J. Nix is a native New Yorker and a marketing specialist at a digital marketing agency. He can also be found expressing his ideas about brand strategy and general pop culture on Twitter at mr_mcfly.