Choosing Metrics That Matter
We’ve heard it a thousand times before – you need to have a strategy before engaging in social media. While this is true, there are certain aspects of a strategy that can wait until you’ve had some notable successes and/or failures (you need trial and error time before implementing certain content ideas, for example.)
And how do you gauge those successes and failures?…. By implementing performance indicators (metrics) that will help you track your progress/performance. The metrics you choose need to help gauge performance in relation to the overall goals of your social media strategy/campaign. Remember, not all metrics are relevant and there is no set standard for reporting – your goals should dictate how to measure.
This may sound a bit confusing, but if you stick to a few simple principles, it will all work itself out. Here’s a KISS version of how to get started and how to think of implementing the appropriate metrics for a new campaign or overall strategy:
1. Outline your goals. What do you want to achieve? (Increased brand awareness? Addressing customer service issues? Etc.)
2. Pick a time frame. When will you start measuring your impact? How often?
3. Choose metrics that will help you measure your impact.
For too often, we use the wrong metrics to gauge our social media success. For example, if your goal is to address customer service issues, the metric you should use is simple – count all the service issues fielded via your social media accounts. In this case, total Facebook ‘Likes’ will not be an appropriate metric for this goal and yet, we often revert back to this number to quantify our social media successes. (Counting Facebook ‘Likes’ would be an appropriate metric if your goal is to increase brand awareness.)
The most important thing to remember with all of this is that there is no set standard for metrics and measurement. Every campaign, issue, or initiative should have it’s own set of metrics and they should be determined by the goals you set forth.