Social Media Metrics: Are You Focused on the Right Data?

pen, magnifying glass and the working paper with a diagram

The modern marketing strategy just isn’t complete if it doesn’t include a social media element. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog post, tools like Google Analytics are great for tracking your social media activity and its impacts on your business. While we encourage social media marketers to read that blog and the background information linked within, it’s also important to discuss some of the misconceptions many businesses have about all the social media data they are collecting. Some might focus on information that isn’t particularly helpful, while others might be disregarding, or missing entirely, key metrics.

The greatest pitfall is to fall into the trap of chasing volume (e.g. number of followers, likes, retweets, etc.) versus outcome-based results. It doesn’t really matter if you have 100 or 100,000 followers, if you’re meeting your conversion/sales goals. Generally, a tighter focus on a specifically identified audience is a better strategy than attempting to appeal to the masses. The same is true in terms of the number of social media channels you choose to engage with. You can use a variety of options in a multitude of combinations, but sometimes a singular focus on just one channel that most appeals to your target audience can be the best strategy.

Another pitfall that applies to business strategies generally, but is particularly salient when it comes to social media, is tracking process vs. outcome measures. Both are important—your process results (e.g. how many followers, retweets, etc.) can provide early indications or future outcomes, but it is really the outcomes that matter to businesses of any kind, including nonprofits.

Context is important, too, when analyzing your social media data. As noted in a whitepaper by Cognizant called “Best Practices and Common Pitfalls in Social Media Measurement.” The authors write, “While many brands already track various engagement metrics, too often these activities are measured in isolation. When a brand analyzes tweets about a movie, show or talent, it can gain more actionable insights by analyzing social engagement in the context of various parameters, such as time, demographics, competitors, similar properties and level of marketing effort.”

Just as social media is crucial to any overall marketing strategy, effectively tracking the right metrics is crucial to the social media element of that strategy. By being aware of some of the common traps social media marketers fall into, you can help your organization get the most accurate picture of the success of your social media tactics.

What are you tracking?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

(This post was originally published in October, 2015)

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