Don't Let Fans And Followers Blind You


Everyone is always talking about how to define success in social media. Is it getting followers and likes, is it getting retweeted, is it driving traffic, clicks, sales, etc? Is it just building relationships and earning trust? Is it driving awareness of your company and its products/services? Ultimately whatever you use to define success should map to whatever goals you have. But it’s important to remember that whatever you’re doing with social media can have an impact on other areas of your company and other areas of your marketing. Definitely use all the relevant social data that you can get to measure success; but don’t forget about other “non-social” metrics. Here are a few areas where it may make sense to look at trends and see how what you’re doing with social media is affecting things.

Customer Service

Listening and engaging with customers across social media platforms can be a great way for companies to provide excellent customer service to their audience. Providing customer service through social media platforms (owned or third-party) is a win-win for you and your customers; they get to reach you in a method they may prefer, and they don’t expect an answer within 10 seconds like they would if they were calling you on the phone. Also, you get get a lot of good insights from people’s questions. For example, if you’re constantly answering the same questions about your online check-out process, maybe you need to be doing a better job explaining things or maybe you need to revamp the process. If your company is utilizing social media tools for customer service, here are few things to consider keeping track of:
  • Number of/type of questions answered on sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Number of/type of questions answered on your own discussion forums or community
  • Most popular questions (may make sense to add these to your site’s FAQ)
  • Phone calls to your business or call center

Product Development

Getting feedback on new products and ideas has never been easier. If you’ve built relationships with people who trust you, all you have to do is ask them. Consider tracking how getting involved in social media has affected:
  • Number of people sharing new ideas with you (unprompted) and total ideas shared
  • Type of ideas people are sharing
  • Number of ideas you actually implement or consider developing
  • Number of people giving you feedback on ideas when you ask for it


Everyone wants more sales. But selling directly is not usually the best approach to social media. It’s about being there before the sale, building a relationship, building trust and then having that person think of you next time they’re looking for what you sell. Still, you may want to look at how social media has affected:
  • Number of leads
  • Quality of leads
  • Sales metrics – number of items bought, average order size, frequency of purchases, how long someone remains a customer, etc.
  • Customer referrals


Marketing is really all about getting relevant recognition for what you do. At eWayDirect, we launched a strategic planning tool last week that includes social, search and email factors and trends to help companies determine their online recognition, product awareness and sentiment. Social media data is important, but so is a lot of non-social data. Here are a few buckets we look at that social media engagement and initiatives can affect – along with some of the non-social data we think people should consider tracking. Awareness
  • Amount of website traffic/site visits/page views
  • Number of searches for brand terms
  • Content views
  • email opens and clicks
  • percentage of emails actually opened and clicked
  • number of people unsubscribing
  • number of times your emails are marked as spam
  • Number of inbound links to your content
  • Likelihood that emails (and other content) drive desired actions
  • Number of times content is shared
  • Email subscribers
  • Community members
You should include social metrics in each of the above buckets. But, whatever you use to define success, remember how you’re utilizing social media tools and platforms affects more than just “social” metrics. It’s important to look at things holistically, rather than in silos. What do you think?]]>


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