When it comes to marketing the performance of a campaign is everything.
It’s no different for social media, it must deliver a return on investment, otherwise why would you be doing it?
Aligning your activity with actual business objectives is the right way to do this. It will ensure that your social media campaign delivers a ROI and it is achieving results that matter to the company.
Why is it then that we get so obsessed with the wrong numbers.
How Idiots Measure Success
There was a time when businesses were obsessed with “hits”, it was mistakenly used to measure the popularity of a website. The problem with a “hit” was that in reality each one related to a single file download, rather than a website visit or page view. As webpages became more complex each page could account for 20 or 30 “hits” depending on how many images and other file tips a page included.
In other words the term was meaningless. As analytics has become more sophisticated we are now measuring the success of a website in more complex ways; using segmentation, A/B testing, conversion rates and other metrics.
With social media it’s like we have taken a step back in time.
I’ve Got More Friends Than You
Even as social media matures and starts to become more accepted as a serious marketing channel many still focus on the wrong numbers, Followers and Likes.
I am not saying that you don’t need to grow your followers on Twitter or Facebook, but many businesses are deeming the success of their campaign on the amount of people they are attracting, rather than the attainment of specific business goals.
Growing Followers and Likes is hard work, it requires an understanding of your target audience and what interests them. Once you have identified these two things you then need to produce, or curate high quality content to attract them. You need to engage with your audience regularly to keep them and you need to keep doing it over and over again.
The issue is that this has created a whole new economy that is attempting to meet this demand.
Buying Your Way To The Top
To avoid the embarrassment of having less followers than your competitors, and to short cut the hard work required to get them, many companies and individuals are buying them!
As this screenshot shows a quick search on Ebay returns results of businesses offering to deliver thousands of followers, at very little cost.
Low cost it may be, but fake followers don’t buy product, they don’t engage in conversation and they certainly don’t share your content or mention your brand.
Routing Out The Fakers
Be warned, as tempting as it may be, buying followers may get you found out. Facebook has recently announced it is committed to reducing the number of fake accounts in it’s system. The result will be a severe reduction in Likes for business pages that have been buying them.
If Facebook doesn’t find you out then a new service from StatusPeople allows anyone to check how many fake followers they have on Twitter. The service allows you to search any account and returns the percentage of fake followers that particular Twitter account has.
StatusPeople are even highlighting some of the worst offenders on their Fakers Wall, not a place you want to find yourself.
Pick The Right Metric
The point is that you really need to focus on the right measurements for your business. Vanity metrics are for the gym and the pub, they don’t belong in a corporate environment. If you think people will be impressed by how many friends you have, you may find yourself embarrassed when you don’t return a profit or even worse, if you get caught buying out!
Social Selling Software – InsideView.com