Does your social media marketing strategy track the right statistics?

Likes, followers, fans and friends. These are the things most people think of when talking about social media marketing and measurement, but in many ways these are arbitrary when it comes to the social success of a brand.

Hence the reason many experts have labelled these factors ‘vanity metrics’. They look good on paper, they make us feel great as business professionals and offer plenty to shout about—  just as with our personal online accounts. However, you may not be asking the right things if this is what you are focussing on.

Earlier this week we posted a blog entitled ‘What is social media marketing doing for your brand image?‘  As part of that there were several other questions we explained needed answering before you can respond to the main quandary. One of these was ‘what are your business goals?’
And we’re pretty sure your goals will not simply be ‘gaining more likes’.

Why?

Well, there’s a relatively simple explanation; more likes do not necessarily mean a more engaged audience. In fact far from it. Facebook is a great example— the network currently has more than 2billion active monthly users, giving it the most potential of any platform out there. Yet the actual organic reach of brand pages is incredibly low, even for those with incredibly high numbers of likes and followers.

Actionable metrics

Rather than simply looking at how many more fans you accumulated this month, or the number of comments a post garnered, it’s far more useful to look at what you might call ‘actionable metrics’. Or, to put that another way, the actions the public are taking as a direct result of your social media marketing efforts.

This could be new subscriptions for a newsletter, such as the one we publish every month. Or perhaps inbound traffic to your website, content downloads like our popular PDF guides, or new business enquiries.

Which you opt to centre on will, to an extent, depend on what the call to action was, and the kind of outcome you are hoping to achieve from your social content. For example, the end of this post suggests grabbing a copy of our Guide To Influencer Marketing, so we will judge its success on the prevalence of that desired outcome.

So should I ignore likes then?

No, not entirely, but it’s important not to get bogged down in this sort of metric.

Instead, social media marketing output should really be guided by your experience of the sort of things that have shown positive correlations to your goals.

This means it’s a trial and error situation if the brand is just starting out on socials, but with some historic social output to analyse it’s a relatively simple case of prioritising the best performing type of posts within the context of what you want to achieve.

 

Read our guide to influencer marketing