Being Bruce -: Business Social Media Tip #30 - Watch Your Numbers

Monday, November 9, 2009

Business Social Media Tip #30 - Watch Your Numbers

So how do you know if your business social media marketing efforts are working? Are they worth the required time and focus? And how exactly do you measure social media effectiveness? If there is one number to watch to tell if you've made the right decisions regarding social media, what would it be?

I know what the answer is for me, but yours may differ.

Here are some possibilities of numbers to monitor:

-- Friends and Followers - If your goal is to build a massive following, sheer numbers of friends and followers could be the best measure of success. This is an easy number to track since social media sites routinely report how many connections you have - it's actually a device the social media companies use to keep us using their services, enticing us to be competitive and build larger followings so we'll feel somehow 'better'. But is a large following in the best interest of your business?

-- Grading or Influence Rating Services - There are third party companies that will track your influence. Two popular services for are HubSpot, Inc.'s Grader.com and Twinfluence.com. Grader.com for Twitter (there are other versions as well) tracks your updates, your followers, and those you follow and then gives you a grade on a 0-100 scale and will display your ranking in your location. Twinfluence.com provides a ranking and percentage rating based on "social influence" measures which are also detailed and explained by the site. Twinfluence provides more data than Grader, but the actual value for your business isn't proved.

-- Internet and Web Site Metrics - This is the world of hits, and eyes, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are plenty of tools that measure Internet metrics and you can be sure that more will emerge for social media, some within the services themselves, others provided by third parties. Don't assume that the same metrics that work for a web site that sells products will have relevance to social media, where the most successful participants are often those who are most socially adept. In this respect, social media success might not be best measured just by numbers.

-- Your Bottom Line -- With all respect, the best number to watch to measure your business's marketing success with social media might be outside the purvey of the Internet, but rather with your accountant. Realtors know that the best advertisements are those that bring people who end up with a successful closing, not just people who want a tour of the area. If you have a way to track the source of your sales or contracts, that's the strongest tool at your disposal. Track where you first met people who brought your business revenue. If you connected in multiple ways, in person, through traditional ads, and through social media, you may have to be a bit subjective here to decide which made the strongest connection - (Why not use this as an opportunity to connect with customers by asking which contact mode was most important).

In the end, your financial bottom line is the most important way to measure effectiveness of anything you do in your business.

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