Digital Marketing, Social Media Measurement, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI

Are You Cherishing the Wrong Trophy?

photo 225x300 Are You Cherishing the Wrong Trophy?I have been the champion of my fantasy football league two of the past four years, and while I’ve had a rough start to this season, I’m still the defending champion. And while I appreciate the winner’s check, having the trophy on my desk for a year is much, much sweeter.

Trophies are important. They provide tangible evidence of accomplishment, when many forms of achievement in life, business and otherwise are inherently intangible and amorphous.

Social media achievement can be intangible and amorphous, too. So much so that there are whole companies and industries that sniff at social media in its entirety because it’s “not measurable.” But indeed social media IS measurable. I’ll reserve all the ways it can be done for another day (meantime, read Olivier Blanchard, Beth Harte, and KD Paine on the subject). To me though, what’s more frustrating than a misguided belief that social media isn’t measurable is measuring the wrong things entirely. (FYI, interviewing Olivier live on Twitter tomorrow (10/1) at 5pm eastern)

Fuzzy Math of Social Media Measurement

I understand the desire to count your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, I really do. It’s an extremely easy graph to build, the numbers almost always climb steadily upward, and it’s simple to compare against competitors.

But guess what? You’re not in the Facebook fan selling business. Nobody is. At best, number of fans shows some level of directional success, but even then the numbers are often influenced by “social media bribery” (read this great post by Spike Jones)

No Dinner. No Movie.

Examine the level of consumer commitment to your brand that’s required to become your “fan” on Facebook (or your follower on Twitter, for that matter). Let’s see, it’s precisely ONE CLICK. One. Click.

By my count, it takes 3,200% more effort to visit http://www.convinceandconvert.com if you don’t have it bookmarked (shame), because you have to tap 32 keys to get here. Versus one key to become a Facebook fan. I’ve had deeper relationships with single swallows of Scotch than what is required to be a fan on Facebook.

If you want to report your Facebook fans and Twitter followers on your social media results dashboard, I won’t stop you. But please augment that information with a statistical trophy with more meaning.

What’s your single most important social media metric? Care to share? I’ll create a follow-up post with the best comments.

Related
  • http://thelostjacket.com/ Stuart Foster

    RSS and subscribers.

    Hands down my most important metric. I’m also measuring how many times they visit, how long they stay and what pages they are interested in.

    For a larger company? I’d say it’s who is looking at your materials and why. If you can figure that out? You can start doing outbound marketing to follow up.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..Opportunity Costs: Crisis Control in Social Media =-.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    RSS and subscribers.

    Hands down my most important metric. I’m also measuring how many times they visit, how long they stay and what pages they are interested in.

    For a larger company? I’d say it’s who is looking at your materials and why. If you can figure that out? You can start doing outbound marketing to follow up.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..Opportunity Costs: Crisis Control in Social Media =-.

  • http://www.jeffersonstolarship.com/ Jeff Stolarcyk

    Specific to Twitter (because I get asked a lot about how a client can measure his or her Twitter success), I like percentage of followers that click a given link. If you’re looking at performance over a month or so, average them.

    I don’t know if that’s arcane or useless, but imo it’s useful not only in the sense of providing a baseline of how engaged your audience is – how willing they are to take the action you ask them to – but also a good way to research what sort of links perform better than others with a given audience.
    .-= Jeff Stolarcyk´s last blog ..Project Mixtape Week: Friday Cover Songs =-.

  • http://www.jeffersonstolarship.com Jeff Stolarcyk

    Specific to Twitter (because I get asked a lot about how a client can measure his or her Twitter success), I like percentage of followers that click a given link. If you’re looking at performance over a month or so, average them.

    I don’t know if that’s arcane or useless, but imo it’s useful not only in the sense of providing a baseline of how engaged your audience is – how willing they are to take the action you ask them to – but also a good way to research what sort of links perform better than others with a given audience.
    .-= Jeff Stolarcyk´s last blog ..Project Mixtape Week: Friday Cover Songs =-.

  • http://www.sonnygill.com/ Sonny Gill

    Great post and spot on with what your title questions.

    I think there is no single most important metric in social media, but depends more so on your specific goals and what you’re looking to accomplish. You could be looking to measure engagement on your blog, number of responses/downloads to your e-book, website activity and yes, even sales!

    Whatever it may be, understanding where your business is and what goals you’ve set for your biz to take it to the next level, is an important step to realizing what your most important social media metric will be.
    .-= Sonny Gill´s last blog ..Tell me one thing… =-.

  • http://www.sonnygill.com Sonny Gill

    Great post and spot on with what your title questions.

    I think there is no single most important metric in social media, but depends more so on your specific goals and what you’re looking to accomplish. You could be looking to measure engagement on your blog, number of responses/downloads to your e-book, website activity and yes, even sales!

    Whatever it may be, understanding where your business is and what goals you’ve set for your biz to take it to the next level, is an important step to realizing what your most important social media metric will be.
    .-= Sonny Gill´s last blog ..Tell me one thing… =-.

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  • http://vincecardillo.com/ Vince

    The metric will differ per campaign, but it should be an engagement metric. So one campaign may define this as did you complete the online game we created, and another campaign may define it as did you complete a registration process, and post it to your FB wall. It all depends.

  • http://vincecardillo.com Vince

    The metric will differ per campaign, but it should be an engagement metric. So one campaign may define this as did you complete the online game we created, and another campaign may define it as did you complete a registration process, and post it to your FB wall. It all depends.

  • http://www.balancemedia.com/ Andrea Bell

    It comes down to waaayy more than just number of fans / followers. Social media has to somehow reflect positively on the bottom line for it to be considered useful (otherwise, why are you doing it?). How many more hits is your website getting? Are you getting re-tweets and more “likes” on Facebook? How many click-throughs are you getting? Are you actually engaging your tweeps and facebook fans or just broadcasting RTs and mundane comments? Eventually, your “good social media deeds” should result in some form of conversion – whatever that looks like for your company, organization or brand.

    Thanks for the post, Jay!

    Andrea Bell
    @andreamegan
    balancemedia.com

  • http://www.balancemedia.com Andrea Bell

    It comes down to waaayy more than just number of fans / followers. Social media has to somehow reflect positively on the bottom line for it to be considered useful (otherwise, why are you doing it?). How many more hits is your website getting? Are you getting re-tweets and more “likes” on Facebook? How many click-throughs are you getting? Are you actually engaging your tweeps and facebook fans or just broadcasting RTs and mundane comments? Eventually, your “good social media deeds” should result in some form of conversion – whatever that looks like for your company, organization or brand.

    Thanks for the post, Jay!

    Andrea Bell
    @andreamegan
    balancemedia.com

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  • http://twitter.com/jeremywiles/status/4478036629 JeremyWiles

    RT @jaybaer: The dangers of Facebook "success metrics." Are you cherishing the wrong trophy? http://is.gd/3MNQy

  • http://twitter.com/randylewiskemp/status/4479125155 Randy Kemp

    Article: (Social Media) “Are You Cherishing the Wrong Trophy?” http://is.gd/3N81X

  • http://twitter.com/treypennington/status/4479502907 Trey Pennington

    RT @jaybaer The dangers of Facebook “success metrics.” Are you cherishing the wrong trophy? http://is.gd/3MNQy

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  • http://twitter.com/narciso17/status/4480244173 Narciso17

    It’s dangerous to treat Facebook fans as a key success metric.. http://is.gd/3MNQy Great Stuff Fm @jaybaer

  • http://twitter.com/kimbrater/status/4480676814 Kim Brater

    After social media discussion @portlandadfed program today, timely msg fr @jaybaer Are You Cherishing the Wrong Trophy? http://bit.ly/rBkWv

  • http://twitter.com/willostedt/status/4483404714 Will Ostedt

    Are You Cherishing the Wrong Trophy? http://viigo.im/12fN

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  • http://twitter.com/mammothadams/status/4489300626 Peter

    Are You Cherishing the Wrong Trophy | Social Media Marketing …: I’m a social media strategy consultant an.. http://bit.ly/jQc8e

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  • http://twitter.com/genedelibero/status/4494886698 Gene De Libero

    More frustrating than a misguided belief that social media isn’t measurable – measuring the wrong things entirely. http://bit.ly/JuJoh

  • http://twitter.com/hcdelp/status/4496563158 Hannah Del Porto

    RT @KatyHarrison20 RT @jaybaer The dangers of Facebook success metrics. Are you cherishing the wrong trophy? http://is.gd/3MNQy

  • http://twitter.com/dkasrel/status/4500540099 Deni Kasrel

    Get your priorities straight (social media-wise): Are YourCherishing The Wrong Trophy? http://bit.ly/JuJoh #socialmedia #sm

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  • Valerie Strohl

    For me, it comes down to who is connecting to my blogsite – leaving comments, emailing me privately. Presenting new insight about the status quo in disabilities means that every person who engages with me offers hope for my ideas to take hold. Speaking opportunities, guest blogs, etc. can then follow.

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