Even the most social-savvy business owners can get caught up in the numbers game: counting and recounting likes, followers, fans, retweets, shares. Not to say those numbers don’t correlate to how well your business connects with customers online, but 100 shares doesn’t necessarily mean 100 sales — and it certainly doesn’t measure the potential value of those 100 shares.
For example, were any of the 100 fans sharing that post actually influencers? Did the fans in question sign up for your list, or share and forget? Are your likes and follows actually impacting your sales? Many business owners wouldn’t know how to start answering those questions.
To find out which social metrics are really worth monitoring, we asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs to share which numbers they’re tracking right now on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Facebook Engagement
We came up with a metric that we call “Facebook Engagement Ratio,” which is the number of people talking about us, divided by the number of likes. We believe this is a more accurate measure of engagement than just counting likes. And we track it on a weekly basis, compared to our competitors.
– Kit Hickey, Ministry of Supply
2. Not Just Vanity Metrics
Early on at Contently, we observed our content marketing clients struggle with not only how to measure results, but also knowing what they should track in the first place. So we built a social content analytics tool that tracks three scores: reach, engagement and influence. Each score is a mashup of various metrics. Reach comes from pageviews and social impressions, essentially asking, “Who was exposed to your content?” Engagement is total minutes spent with your content, generated by active time on page and pages per visit: “Who actually consumed your content?” Influence is “Who took an action because of your content?”; i.e., shares and subscribers. This way, we create a funnel for measuring both social and longform content, boiling it down to insights that actually map a brand’s goals.
– Shane Snow, Contently
3. Metrics vs. Influencers
Metrics and thought leaders are two different ends of the spectrum. When you’re looking at metrics and data, you’re looking at the whole or segments of it. When you’re looking at influential thought leaders, you’re looking at building relationships with individuals. Keep the two ideas separate — woo your influencers by building real relationships. Then use metrics to see how you’re doing with the masses.
– Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media
4. Virality vs. Likes
Measuring social metrics by “counting likes” on a single Facebook post doesn’t work. You must measure by “virality.”. A post that gets 17,000 likes (the number of unique people who see your post) may only get 0.1% virality (the percentage of people who create a story from your post, out of the number of unique people who see your post), while another that receives 10,000 likes, but gets 9.97% virality — this is a far better post. To go viral, you must connect with your fans’ passion and excite them. This is the toughest challenge of all.
– Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
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