There’s a lot of talk about metrics, measurement and ROI in social media.
While I agree that numbers are important, it is easy for numbers to be misleading. They’re nice to have and they can be reassuring but what are they actually saying?
Some sites claim to understand what makes you “influential” but there’s no talk of being effective. What they’re trying to measure is a lot more qualitative than quantitative.
Having more people see your content or even like it or share it doesn’t mean anything is happening for your business.
The numbers of followers, fans, likes, RTs, views etc are great indicators of activity and watching their trends will help you understand which communications are effective but how do you really measure social media success?
I’ve narrowed it down down to 3 important “metrics” which really are goals: “Thank You”, “Wow” & “Done”
What do I mean by that? Let’s have a look:
1) Thank you
As I’ve said before, the first rule of engagement is “be helpful”. Grateful people are usually going to be more likely to remember you and talk about you. This is a way to generate brand “love”. As Tara Hunt explains in her book, The Whuffie Factor, the way you are perceived highly influences what people will do for you. Make it good!
The assistance you provide doesn’t have to be purely within your service offering either. Who or what do you know that can help someone out of a jam? Another rule of engagement: Be human.
This leads us to the second metric:
Seth Godin talks about being remarkable in Purple Cow and there is no question that this also gets you talked about. Hopefully you’re being remarkable in a good way even if it’s in how you respond or deal with mistakes. “Wow” is the effect you’re going for – it’s the underlying trigger of the “viral” effect. Think “Wow! Check this out!” This isn’t a guarantee that you will “go viral”. There’s no guarantee of that but if you get “Wow”s you can be sure people will be talking and sharing the content that made them say it. Just stay away from gimmicks and Wal-Mart style stunts.
Ok so “Thank You” and “Wow” get people talking and sharing and sending your referrals but how do you measure ROI? That’s where the third goal comes in.
I’m hoping that you have clear calls to action in your communications – That’s what “Done” is all about – did what you come to social media to do get accomplished? Have people done what you wanted them to do? Be it spread the word, donate or buy do you know what you want them to do? Do they?
The way I see it Thank You & Wow will help ensure they do but you need to be clear on what it is you want them to do and in the end you don’t need a huge number of people, sometimes all you need is one person to do enough. Sure we want more people to interact with us as possible we really must focus on the reasons why we’re in business and why we’re using social media.
That being said, you don’t want to keep banging away about your sales goals – social media is NOT a hammer! – but do let your communities know how they can help.
So what’s next?
Each communication or conversation you have should aim to fulfil one or more and sometimes even all three of these goals. Think “How can I be helpful? How can I be more human & less business-only? How can I tweak that a bit more and blow them away? How can I let them know what I need?”
It is clear to me that you’ll be going for the Thank You and the Wow more often than the Done but remember that those two will help you build up a community that will help you go for the Done! It might take time but building relationships is what SM is about, first and foremost.
You need to be helpful and remarkable for people to remember you and tell others about you.
That being said, one easy way to go for the Done is to make your call to action clear on your social media profiles, e-mail templates & website.
So, do you agree? Are there other metrics you use? Let me know!