It's All About the Metrics

This week we are back and continuing our look at social media, and understanding how to wrangle all its facets to help your company.

So, you have decided you need social media to help your company grow.  You figured out which programs will benefit your company the most.  The social media strategy is in place, the plan is being executed, you are using the latest social media tools and now you are kicking butt. You have 50, 000 Facebook Fans, 100,000 Twitter followers, and you are dominating LinkedIn. So what does that all mean?  How do you know your plan is working?

Have you just conquered the world, or are you still lost in the jungle?

The answer to that question is all in what metrics are you tracking, and are those metrics of value to your company?

Tracking social media metrics can be a very difficult. You can blog and Tweet all you want but at the end of the day you need to move the needle for your company, or else you are just wasting time.  Do you know what you should be tracking? Because there is a stat for just about everything when it is social media related, but that does not mean you need to keep tabs on all of them.

The first key is to understand is what stats are meaningful.  It is easy to find stats, and understand what they mean, but if you fail to understand why they are meaningful to you, then they are just numbers.

What are you hoping to get from your social media plan?

This is the first question that needs to be addressed when considering which social media stats you should track.  For instance some firms value the size of their email, list, or unique page visits.  For them bounce rate is not an important stat.  If you prioritize sharing, then you will take a different approach than you would if clickthroughs or email sign ups were of vital importance to you.

One thing to always remember you social media goals require stats that are able to intelligently help you influence you decision making process.  In other words, it is important to understand what you are tacking, and why it is important.

The bottom line is does the metric help you in the decision making process?

If the answer is no then you are likely looking at a vanity metric.  It is easy to get lost in vanity metrics. We all want to see how many Re-Tweets, page views, Likes, and follows we get. However, if those stats do not help the welfare of our business, then we are wasting our energy in the wrong place.

A popular way to help breakdown and understand the value of metrics is provided by Jay Baer when he covers the metrics of content marketing. Simply put, Baer breaks the metrics into four pieces with each building on the previous level.

·        Consumption Metrics: How many people viewed, downloaded, or listened to a given piece of content?

·        Sharing Metrics: Did the content resonate with the audience? How many times was it passed along and shared to others?

·        Lead-Gen Metrics: Does all of this interaction with your content result in leads?

·        Sales Metrics: Did you make money of this content?


This is a simple four-part formula used by Baer to hammer home the point, valuable metrics align with the core values and goals of the company. Any metric worth tracking should align with the core metrics and values of the company.

The end goal is action not eyeballs
-Jay Baer