Disclaimer: For the rest of the argument, let’s leave out the ‘content clan’. Let’s talk about brands that offer products and services that customers need to pay money for.
If you’d read this (count your tweets-I) before you got here, you’d know that I think counting your tweets is much of a waste of time. Well, if you are a business and are paying money for someone to post your tweets (sometimes even an agency and that’s a lot more money), then how do you measure their performance? I’m writing down the two basic ways to look at formulating social media metrics.
Measuring the quality and quantity of the conversations will be an indicator of brand image and perception. Measuring the number of leads you get will show you the direct return on investment. If you have a third bucket, feel free to use the comments section!
See what’s the conversation like
Engagement needs to be measured in terms of how many people are talking ‘to’ you as well as ‘about’ you. If you are making all information easily available and if you are shipping your goods right, there is very little reason for people to talk ‘to’ you. Also, it’s more important that your happy customers tell their networks that you are awesome than tell you that you are.
On the other hand, when you call for comments, opinions, suggestions, contest responses etc., it is a good idea to measure how many of your fans are willing to engage with you. Count the number of people in your network that regularly engage with you. Are these a sizeable chunk of your total fans? If it is, also measure if there is an upward trend in the number of fans engaging with you.
While you are at it, also measure the emotion of people talking to and about you. Social media is just online word of mouth. If there is a negative emotion, try and balance it. If there is a positive emotion, take pride!
See where it ‘leads’ you
All marketing is done to sell. Yes, before you scream at me for my lack of any marketing knowledge, I mean, at the end of the day, all marketing activity needs to directly or indirectly lead to higher revenue and hence higher profits. Social media needs to do exactly the same.
Every social media activity needs to interest a potential customer in your product. The easiest way to measure this of course is to count your leads. Have they left their contact (and requirement) information with you to allow you to contact them later?
I am arguing with myself if following you is perhaps a lead as well. In many ways, it is. If you were a deodorant brand and you have a million followers, there is definitely a chance that they will buy your product when you tweet about a discount offer. This of course, is not true in all cases. Say you are BMW, a very small portion of your followers will be valid leads.
In all, social media metrics are no different from the metrics you set for the marketing, finance or the operations teams. They all need to contribute to the business. So, ensure any activity you do can be accountable (directly or indirectly) to the growth of the business. Any target that helps the business is a good target!