Climb the Ladder of Social Media Success

With the dawning of social media, many traditional marketing efforts have been replaced with digital. In many ways, digital marketing has made tracking the success of marketing efforts much easier, but with the rise in measurable analytics, it can be difficult to know which numbers to pay attention to. We’ve debunked three common myths about social media analytics to help focus how you measure success.

Myth 1: More Followers = Success

When reading social media analytics, it’s easy to think, “We’ve got a ton of followers, so we must be doing great!” But is that number important? Not necessarily. For Facebook measurement, this number is often referred to as a vanity metric. Fewer than two to three percent of your audience is reached organically due to Facebook’s algorithm. The size of your audience is only a small piece of the puzzle. When you acquire 100 fans on Facebook, you have a chance of 1-2 of those people seeing your content organically. While having a base of 20,000 allows you to reach more than a base of 2,000 it can take a very long time and a larger investment in advertising to get your brand to that level.

For Twitter, the odds of your followers seeing the content are MUCH higher, so the community you’re building there is a bigger deal than on Facebook. This is due to Twitter remaining chronological. Rather than Twitter choosing which content is important to its readers, it allows people to see the content as soon as you post it.

Truth: Engagement and Conversions = Success

Depending on your organization, engagement with your brand and/or conversions should be your focus. An audience that shares, retweets, comments and likes is going to increase your exposure, and your analytics will show it. You should also be conscious of what kind of engagement you’re getting. All engagements aren’t weighted the same. There’s a HUGE difference between someone who likes your post and someone who amplifies the post by retweeting or sharing it with their audience.

Don’t forget conversions when you get excited about the engagement you’re seeing on your social media platforms. Your measurements here really depend on your brand goals. Are you looking for leads? For website clicks? For people to come inside the store? These are all pieces to your conversion measurements, and you may want to include additional information gathering pieces to the mix. For instance, if you want more people to come into your store, this is the perfect time to test out Facebook’s Offline Events. If you want more people to book a room through your website, use trackable links and use Google Analytics to see the number of people who are completing that sale because you sent them there through social media.

Myth 2: Content Quantity = Content Quality

Social media isn’t a crockpot. You don’t get to set it and forget it. Scheduling out meaningless content for the sake of having content will do you no good. Be strategic with the content you create. It should be consistent with your brand, encourage engagement and align with your overall strategy.

Truth: Content Quality is Key

Content that is relevant and interesting to your audience is content that will help to make your social media channels successful. Pay attention to what your audience clicks on or what they spend their time reading, and be intentional with the content you produce. This will prompt the engagement you need to spread your overall brand message and reach new audience members. When you’re reviewing your analytics, you’ll also be able to see which times of day perform the best and how often your brand should be posting to receive the quality engagements or conversions you’re looking for.

Myth 3: It’s all About Sales

Many companies on social media are all about the sales. You’ve seen these feeds. They constantly send out spammy posts, and most of us eventually hide them from our feeds. This is not the way to handle social media, and while it’s important to pay attention to conversions (or sales), it shouldn’t be your only goal. After all, what is “social” media if it isn’t social at all?

Truth: Social Media is About Community

If you are on social media simply to sell a product or services, you won’t be successful. You must begin by building a community, and then use that community to build brand awareness and brand champions. That is where conversions happen. You see, social media is more about the equity you can add to your brand as a whole by fostering goodwill with your audience. In our blog post about consistency in branding and design, we talk more in depth about why this is important.

There are a lot of myths out there about what equates to successful social media marketing, but there are a lot of truths that help to make your job easier, and frankly, more fun. In the end, we all have people to answer to for the success of our social media efforts. You may be asking yourself, “What do I measure? I have to show them something.” We recommend you let your strategic goals determine the metrics that are important to report. If you are in online retail, the number of clicks to your website is important, but for a small business, increased foot traffic is your metric. If you’re trying to start a movement, then shares and retweets are where you need to focus. If you are trying to build brand awareness, look at your impressions, and if you are trying to build brand champions, pay attention to your engagement. And finally, look at your numbers every week, adapt and be willing to make tweaks on the fly. This is what will help you flourish.