Metrics are nothing without perspective, and for the most part, marketers accept this. Still, we don’t always remember it when it comes to social media. Social media metrics are either a foreign language that we don’t even pretend to understand or we take them at face value--the higher the better, and things can always be higher.
Make the Metrics Tell a Story
Both perspectives do nothing for a marketer other than add more confusion to the mix and perpetuate the myth that social media can’t impact an overall business. Instead, our challenge should be to turn metrics into a story we can tell. The only way to do that is to view social media outside of a silo.
Look outside of Facebook and Twitter to identify where consumers come face-to-face with a purchase decision. Track referral traffic to your website to determine how social channels drove to a particular promotion. Provide exclusive content and information to your social followers and watch the effect it has on in-store behavior.
Likes, followers, retweets and comments are all KPIs, but they aren’t objectives. They let you know how you’re performing on a platform. You have to dig deeper to determine if there’s an effect on the business.
It all starts with having the end in mind--the objective you’re aiming to achieve. Objectives are more than followers or likes. Objectives are business results, and you don’t have to take the standard social media metrics at face value. When we dig deeper into the platform KPIs, we can turn them into insightful information that tie back directly to objectives and show tangible success.