Social Media Measurement – Silver Bullet Still MIA
Yesterday I sat in on a HubSpot
seminar that looked at the boogeyman of almost every social media strategy – measurement
. While the discussion didn’t necessarily break any new ground for me (or anyone who has been working with social media for some time), it did provide clarity and connected some dots around the idea of measuring a social media strategy.
Social Fresh’s Jason Keath
, HubSpot’s Maggie Georgieva
and the authors of The Now Revolution
, Amber Naslund
and Jay Baer
all participated in the discussion, and all said the same thing about social media measurement: The silver bullet is a myth.
Many companies seem to have an underlying thought that there exists the One True Social Media Metric, some esoteric statistic that, when deciphered, will validate their social media strategy to all of detractors. If anyone listening to the webinar held this notion, it was certainly stomped out of them (or it should’ve been).
The discussion proved that social media is just like any other business metric in that you measure what is important to you.
Do you care about sales? Raw leads? Loyalty? Then you need to track those numbers against what you do in social media to see if there’s any impact.
Amber Naslund went one step further, saying that you need to “marinate” these numbers – while this immediately brings to mind the idea of “cooking the books,” in reality, Amber is saying that you should watch your social media statistics for a few months, then make a decision. Validation doesn’t occur over night for any other business function, so why should social media be any different?
Jay Baer also had a great bit of advice, which I will be using frequently moving forward – don’t hug social media measurement to death.
While you can track nearly every number around social presence, from Twitter followers and Facebook fans to unfollows and likes, it doesn’t mean you should. Clinging to these numbers like a drowning man clings to a piece of driftwood won’t save your strategy if it just doesn’t align with the business – followers/likes don’t mean anyone is buying your product, for example.
So what was the overall takeaway?
Measuring for the sake of measuring is pointless, unless you can tie it back to the business – social media isn’t any different than any other business strategy, so start tracking it like one.