Social Media Marketers and Success Metrics

Like many of you, I am interested in the latest trends regarding social media metrics and what other marketing companies believe are metrics to watch.  For a number of years, most social media pundits and practitioners preached “listening to the community” and “getting involved in the conversation” to develop fans and friends as ways to drive brand consideration and (somehow) sales.  Thankfully, that seems to be changing as we noted in an earlier blog post.

While listening to a webinar about social media metrics by a group of fellow social media marketers, it was refreshing to hear the presenters talk more about developing realistic success metrics and how these may differ from company to company.  One size, after all, does not fit everyone.

The emphasis of the webinar was on the behavior of customers rather than simply categorizing and aggregating the statistics about them.  I thought this was productive and good to hear.  Some other points that stood out included:

  • The goal is to be good at business because of social media, not to be good at social media
  • Stop collecting “fans” like trading cards – counting is not really useful or productive to your business objectives
  • Your social media efforts must tie into CRM and sales data

Another element that stood out was the idea that not all metrics were appropriate for all companies.  Much depends upon the objectives of the company and why they are engaging in social media activities.  For some companies, sales metrics are the most efficient.  For others, loyalty and customer retention are more productive, and for others it might be referrals.  The best measures for success are dependent upon the goals and objectives of the company.  We’ve been saying this for a number of years at Ivy.

As I said before, this was good to hear.  It means that other social media marketers are seeing the tie between their social media efforts and the bottom line of their business.  Okay, but where are the specifics?  What metrics do these presenters recommend?  The catch was you have to buy their book to learn more.

However, the one thing I did not hear during the webinar was how to leverage your social media efforts into something larger, something that could directly impact the business bottom line.  Where’s the judo move?  Alas, many in social media have not caught on yet.