Data, data, data…. everyone strives to snag as much data as they can regarding their target market in hopes to effectively engage them. Yes, data and numbers are important, but what is more important is deciding which data is applicable, and how to use the social media metrics to your advantage. There are hundreds of software platforms out there that will pump more numbers at you than you can comprehend, but in reality, most of these numbers are useless and misleading. Data doesn’t mean anything unless you can directly relate it to increasing leads, revenue, and ROI.

social media

1. Alexa

Alexa is one of the most popular traffic indicators. Their webpage promises you can:

“Harness the power of analytics to grow your business online. Alexa has traffic metrics across the web—an invaluable source for competitive intelligence and strategic insight.”

Alexa

Almost every single marketing team has this webpage bookmarked, and checks their analytics religiously. It would be a great tool to utilize if it were for one thing: it were more accurate. The accuracy of Alexa is below average, to say the least. The metrics contradict one another within the platform. For example, you would think that the Alexa Ranking and visitors per day should be directly correlated, no? But they’re not. Do not take my word for it, play around on Alexa.com and discover the inconsistencies for your self.

2. Twitter and Facebook Followers

Let’s face the facts. When Americans are spending 23 hours a week online and 3 times more minutes a day on blogs and social media than on email, it’s no wonder social media is a great way to reach your target audience! That being said, it is important to realize that followers are not the end all be all measure of success. Followers are great, but if you do not have a way of tracking your followers and analyzing how they directly relate to ROI, they are useless. Followers are a good indicator of your influence on your industry, but there is another metric that is more important: Follow-back-ratio. The follow-back-ratio is the ratio of people that follow your company compared with the people that company follows. For example, if you have 10k in followers but only follow 500, you have more influence on your community than someone with 10k followers and following 8k people. This means the content you are providing to your followers carries more value, and your opinion matters more.

Twitter followers

This metric can get skewed very easily, as there are many companies out there that are willing to “increase your followers” for a small fee. This is a waste of money. Most of the time these followers are empty, and if anything they are not qualified and have no interest in your company. Do not be dumb enough to fall for this trap.

3. Fans

Everyone loves fans. Fans are fantastic. The more fans you have, the better your ego feels. There is nothing wrong with having fans, and the more you have, the better. But do not confuse that with success. Having fans is just like getting “tweets” and “likes”, it is awesome, but there is no way to tie them into Return on Investment. Just because you have 10k fans, doesn’t mean that you are going to be profitable.

4. Comments

Blogs are an integral part in any inbound marketing effort. Write blogs to share your thoughts and become an industry leader in advice. Blogs are a great way to build organic search results and share your knowledge with the world. When writing, make sure to encourage feedback and open yourself to comments and critiques. Comments should not be a main media metric you focus your time on analyzing. Blog comments are a great way to collaborate with others and share insights with other readers, but once again, there is no way to tie comments into profit. The sad truth is that most often than not, blog commenters are not paying customers.

The true value in a blog comes from you ability to build an email list, or encourage your readers to fill out a CTA. This way, they are engaging on a deeper level and you are able to capture more valuable information regarding your readers.

These 4 social media metrics are not completely useless, but you should focus your time on revenue generating activities and metrics that you can link directly to profit. Being popular on social media is a good thing, but you have to translate followers, likes, favorites etc… into profit and an increased bottom line.

Feel free to let me know what you think in our comments section. Chances are that I missed some social media metrics, or let me know about some good metrics that have proven to be valuable with your company.

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