Social media measurement: Looking beyond fans and followers
Ever since the dawn of the brand presence on social media, the overarching goal has been to have the highest number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
As marketers, we seem to think that having a higher number of fans and followers means you’re a better company – more profitable, more favored – as compared to your competitors or other brands.
But is this an accurate assumption? Simply, no. In fact, many social media users follow brands just for contests or special offers, and not because of loyalty. You may have even heard the stories about brands “paying” for Likes just to boost their number of perceived fans.
So, how do measure the success of your social media efforts? More than just fans and followers, true engagement can be seen in comments, likes and shares. Count and consider these details regularly on your brand’s accounts:
- Blog – comments, trackbacks
- Twitter – retweets, mentions
- Facebook – comments, post likes, shares
- Pinterest – repins, comments
- LinkedIn – comments and likes on posts
These actions show that users not only see the content you provide, but found the information valuable enough to react. And engaged users often translate to loyal brand advocates.
Monitor comments, likes and shares, and compare each to your total number of fans or followers. Document this information regularly to help track engagement over time and benchmark your efforts.
But don’t stop there; use engagement statistics to set short- and long-term goals. Determine what content your fans respond to the most, and use this knowledge to tailor your activities.
Let’s continue the ever-evolving conversation on social media measurement. How do you define and measure online engagement? What other types of online PR and marketing efforts do you monitor and report?