Measuring social media is inherent to any social media campaign or strategic social media plan, but how do you measure social media success?
An AdAge article sparked an interesting discussion and subsequent blog post about tracking shares over likes. Many social media managers I know agreed with the post; social media success is not defined by the number of likes or followers, which is passive engagement, but the number of shares, mentions, and conversations, a much more active and meaningful engagement.
In today’s daily brief, I reference a study done by Ragan, an online communications and PR resource, on the social media profession, and the results are striking.
Among all the stats, here’s what I found most interesting:
- 65% said social media tasks are assigned on top of current responsibilities
- 69% are dissatisfied or somewhat satisfied with how they measure social media (mostly because they don’t know how)
- 82% work on teams of 3 or smaller
- 87% said the main goal of social media was brand awareness, followed closely by increasing web traffic and improving reputation
The stat I want to focus on, however, is the one around what to measure. 86% measure interaction and engagement, including followers, fans, and likes.
This is troubling.
Tracking fans or followers is simply an indication of the size of your potential community, not an indication of engagement or interaction. The fact that almost 90% of respondents track engagement by those methods means that there needs to be a serious shift in marketing thought; conversion-based goal setting is the key to social media success. What are you as a brand doing to get the customer to do something meaningful – where that “meaningful” is a share, a reply, an interaction. Those meaningful interactions are what will drive a consumer to buy and furthermore, to loyalty.
How does your company measure social media? Will you propose a change in how social media is measured in your company?