Monday, February 15, 2010

RE: @Cheeky_Geeky Social Media Metrics: Count Thank You's, Not Click-Throughs {Desaraev AKA Desarae A. Veit | Agency Couture}

This post is a response to a post recently written by Mark Drapeau. The post was titled:  Social Media Metrics: Count Thank You's, Not Click-Throughs. In marks post he pointed out a recent brand and marketer obsession, social media metrics. I guess analytics have always been something for people with money to obsess over, it's how we make more money.

Why measure social media metrics?
Knowing how to measure social media, the growth and your influence is important. Measuring social media is important because it's how you know it works and whether or not your brand should continue spending marketing dollars and hundreds of hours working on it. Please share with me your thoughts, the tools you use and how you like to measure metrics in the comments or on twitter (I'm @DesaraeV).
There are literally thousands of tools you can use to manage the millions of social networks, fans and feeds available to you on the web. Here are some of the obvious ways that you can track success:

  • The number of on-site sales that come from social media referrals
  • Count the number of fans, followers or friends you have on each of your social networks. The only upside to this is more people potentially reading what you have to say and potentially telling their friends. That seems like a good maybe, but 5 people who actually read your blogs and care about you is definitely better then 1,000 who don't care. Remember to connect.
    According to Mark, "Individuals, companies, and even government agencies compare these numbers, as if agency X having 23,000 followers and Y having 15,000 means that X is 50% better at social media... ..But at some point, counting the number of followers actually counts for less and less. Anil Dash has probably written about this phenomenon best in his post, Nobody Has A Million Twitter Followers. "

    Seth Godin uses a bit of biology to talk about viral growth today. There's some math behind it, so it can be measured (metrics!), but the bottom line is that a very small number of people with a high propensity to share easily trumps a very large number of people with a modest propensity to share.
  • You can track sentiment using tools like Techrigy and Radian6. Sentiment tells you how many times people speak positively or negatively about your brand. It's hard to track, but really doesn't matter if you are a small brand and no one is talking about you at all.

    Mark says: I'm a fan of a line I use in some of my talks, which is, "Count thank you's, not click throughs." People typically either love it or hate it. But it's true. I know I'm doing a great job not because I'm making bargraphs or drawing trendlines with analysis of click throughs or Twitter followers, but because I get incoming emails that thank me, which ask me for advice, which consider me a subject-matter expert, which invite me to give talks, which invite me to private events.

    This is nice, but people have to be pretty inspired to tell you. I read lots of blogs every day. I don't always comment on the ones I love. Other days I'm feeling generous and comments on stuff that isn't even great. Problem is, thank you's may get you to events but don't pay the bills - at least not directly. If that thank you gets you a book deal, free event invite or business contact on the other hand then you can track your ROI again. So if you are a public speaker, writer or small business that is great. What if you are a big brand? You do still want people to like you and prefer you. How do you track those thank yous?
  •  What about tracking the number of people to your site? This let's you know who gets there, but then if you look at bounce rates you can at least guess how many people stayed long enough to read your post. You can track where they go and even if they buy something.
  • You could track the number of real life connections you make, this would be a relatively small number compared to followers or click through rates. People in real life you can remember, build a database around, remember their preferences. You could even count the number of people you interact with on a more personal level including email or a telephone call. Add all that information into something like batch book and  Linkedin and you could see how your network connects and expands like a spider web.
Read Mark's post. Let me know what you think. How are you tracking ROI? What metrics are you using to quantify the hours you put into social media? How many friends have you made or met thanks to things like Twitter?

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Thanks for reading!

--Desarae A. Veit
Agency Couture


Mark D. Drapeau, Ph.D. said...

Nice post. I don't think that metrics are *not* important, but rather that the most important metric is the thank-you. If you are remarkable and people are thanking you, your metrics are probably good. So why worry too much about them?

If I was planning on selling advertisment or something similar for a small biz, where I needed to know some basic numbers, I'd just hire someone to do it for me for minimum wage. Thinking up remarkable content is the hard part; the challenge.

Katie said...

Hi from Radian6! Great question to ask - how many friends have I made or met through things like Twitter? Many - almost too many to count. I love how the connection to people I want to reach out to is so short with Twitter, and I've seen this help companies in major ways - all the way from finding leads and talking to them like they're humans, not just wallets - to helping improve their customer service operations. Thanks for the shout-out!

Katie Morse
Community Manager

Katie said...

Hi from Radian6! Great question to ask - how many friends have I made or met through things like Twitter? Many - almost too many to count. I love how the connection to people I want to reach out to is so short with Twitter, and I've seen this help companies in major ways - all the way from finding leads and talking to them like they're humans, not just wallets - to helping improve their customer service operations. Thanks for the shout-out!

Katie Morse
Community Manager

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