Social Media Metrics – The Journey from Flawed to Genuine

Social Media Metrics – The Journey from Flawed to Genuine

Marketers swear by the power of social media. This is common knowledge. Marketers try to convince their C-suite masters with metrics for the same. This follows from the first premise. Most of these metrics are often flawed. This reality escapes most marketers and the C-suite decision makers.

Social media campaigns are a dime-a-dozen, often existing in silos within the same organization. The efficacy of these is often non-quantifiable. That is, if you’re barking up the wrong tree. The smart marketing folk know that there is at least a partially assessable relationship between the two. More importantly, they are able to spell it out, crisply and convincingly.

A hot shot marketing yuppie once remarked to me, “The campaign I drive has a CTR of ‘x’, with ‘y’ likes and ‘z’ followers.” I almost choked on my donut. If these are the guys that corporations trust to drive sales, then there was certainly something wrong in the state of Denmark – gravely wrong.

Personally, I hate email newsletters that remain “unchecked” in my inbox. Not because I read them, but because I hate that “unread” status next to them. Does that measure anything at all about the campaign? No. Worse still, many articles I read have me yawning within 10 seconds. Does that mean I’ve really been impressed by the product or its intended message? An even more resounding, “No.”

These are what we call, “flawed metrics” – numbers that often lead the C-suite to allocate inaccurate campaign budgets. It’s like trying to prove scientific theories based on philosophy – hazy at best.

There are a few tricks to navigate this labyrinth. A classic example is an A/B split test for different geographies. It measures the efficacy of the campaign at the social media posting stage, to disseminate useful numbers regarding site traffic. Another supplement is the “scroll depth” of an article that reaches the customer via the campaign. It defines the extent to which the potential lead has scrolled, as a percentage of the total piece. Advanced Google Analytics’ tools and attributed dollars per click are a couple of other useful measurable metrics.

The key to social media campaigns is to make them as “tangible” as possible. Steering clear of flawed metrics is one way. Patience is the other.

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