When things are going well and money is flowing into a business, flaunting your spreadsheets that are filled with green is great fun. Look at my page views! Look at my page Likes! It all feels like a great big pat on the back for all your hard work.
But as many marketers have found out, paying too much attention to metrics like these can mask underlying problems. Indeed, when the goals that really matter are not being met, these green sections on your KPIs can seem to almost taunt you: but I thought I was doing so well!
Metrics such as page likes, follower numbers, page views and impressions help to boost your ego and can impress your boss, but when it comes down the cold hard facts of business, the truth is that they don’t do much.
If someone is liking your Facebook post, that could be great, but are they truly engaging with it? Are they likely to click through and view your page? Today’s B2B marketer needs to go deeper and focus on leads and engagement. This is the best way to start creating content that truly resonates with your audience.
The thrill of watching your likes grow, your followers increase and your tweets get retweeted is a quick hit that distracts you from the pain of actually figuring out how to drive conversions.
It’s a stiff drink after a hard day.
The real metrics you should be paying attention to go a little deeper. When you post something on your page, for example, how many people give it a Like? How many people comment on it? What exactly is being said about it?
Simply having likes on your page means nothing unless people are actually interacting with your posts. When you can measure this engagement, you’ll start getting a clearer idea of what content your audience likes, and how to improve your conversion rate.
The Numbers That Count
Not that many B2B marketers are capable of tracking ROI. This is a huge flaw, and when your boss is breathing down your neck asking for numbers, simply waving some likes in her face is not going to answer her call for a visible ROI.
KPIs are key performance indicators. They are trackable metrics that allow you to communicate to the team how you are helping to grow the company.
Be sure to use appropriate KPIs that you feel will harness growth and leads and help you to improve. You could try shares, mentions, conversion rates or something similar, but you will know best what works for your company.
KPIs need to be set from the get go so that you stick to them and aren’t tempted to follow vanity metrics.
Once they’re set, track them. Monitor them on a monthly basis so you can keep analyzing your performance and inform yourself better about what to do next.
Use website analytics, audience engagement and other methods to see how effective your social media strategy is. Find out if you’re attracting an audience that matches with those on your website, and particularly those that convert into leads on your website. Find out what keywords and phrases you’re using that click with your audience. Record all your data in a spreadsheet.
Most of all, make sure that your social media metrics are contributing to your company’s growth and success. Set up all your campaigns with tracking so you can monitor them and make continual changes to keep improving. If you use CRM tools, it’s even possible to sync them with social media so you can see the entire journey of your clients.
Vanity metrics look nice and make you feel good, and can even work as good motivation when it’s needed. But if you want to be a top marketer, you need to be paying attention to the metrics that count.