As already discussed almost anything can be measured, but not all metrics are applicable to you, your business or brand. Often you will be asked by your management for metrics – quite often these are just vanity metrics (such as fan page likes): they may look good and give you an indication of how large your initial reach is but do these metrics really provide you with any actionable insights?
Tracking actionable metrics allows you to measure your performance and return on investment. You can simplify the process though by setting up some sort of workflow, step by step analysis of your whole social activity from engagement right through to the relationships you are building. Taking it to the next level you should be able to gauge your audience, identify potential advocates of your presence, brand or products.
In fact you should be able to recognise promoters, passives, detractors of your presence – all types can fulfil a purpose. For example in Facebook you can identify your promoters as the people that share your posts frequently. You could add more weight to this by taking into consideration the comments they may also pass at the time and the size of their circles or reach. Passives may be people that perhaps “like” your posts but don’t do much else. They will have influence in their circles but aren’t so actively promoting you. Detractors, in this day and age, can have a devastating effect on your presence. They may be bad-mouthing your presence or brand but their reach can be more challenging.
Research done by Ruby Newell-Legner (Understanding Customers) suggested that “it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience”. While I don’t believe the ratio is that high for Social Media directly, (other reports I’ve read suggest 7 to 1), it can still be very damaging.
So what next? Wouldn’t it great to be able to understand your audience, learn what they want and try to engage with them further? Perhaps you can..