Four Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Measurement
If you’re in B2B marketing and interested in social media, chances are you were on the line for Hubspot’s Q&A on social media metrics with The Now Revolution co-authors Jay Baer and Amber Naslund last week. But if you weren’t (or if you took bad notes), here’s our take on the most interesting “dos and don’ts” from the conversation:
Measure “the right stuff”: it’s easy to track (and trumpet) an increase in Twitter followers or Facebook “likes” – but do they represent behavior that benefits your business? Whether it’s clicking a link for more information about a product or service, or submitting a form that amounts to a sales lead, the metrics that prove social media’s ROI are the ones that serve as indicators of behavior that supports business goals. Hint: identifying these metrics often requires offline research, like talking to customers at the point of sale.
Separate the “doing” from the tracking: charging the same person or team who conducts social media activities with measuring their success might seem convenient, but it also invites biased reporting. Someone who’s emotionally or professionally invested in a particular tactic or platform is more likely to overstate the value of that initiative and potentially overlook “the right stuff” (see above) in favor of focusing attention on his or her own work. To get a really objective look at your progress, delegate these responsibilities independently of one another.
Overdo it: once metrics are established, the actual tracking is often simple. Tools for counting clicks and tweets, tracking repeat visits and identifying referrer sites are readily available (here’s a staggering list of almost 200) and in many cases, free. That being said, the time and resources it takes to effectively aggregate and analyze these data aren’t free – so stick with the metrics that are really important and resist the temptation to overdose on the quant.
Get there first: As Jason stated during the Hubspot Q&A, “there’s no advantage to beating your customers to the punch in social media.” If your metrics reveal a lack of customer activity on a given social media outpost, that’s valuable data, and might indicate that your customers aren’t ready to be there – so modify your approach accordingly.
What other dos and don’ts would you share related to social media measurement?
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