How to Go Beyond Vanity Metrics
How do we measure the value of a good social media strategy? We’ve discussed why our social media strategies need to drive meaningful engagement and how we can create content that can meet that goal. Now we’ll look at how we can go beyond vanity metrics to track our results and demonstrate our contributions to the business.
When looking for what lies beyond vanity metrics such as Like, Views, and Comments, we should keep in mind that content strategies are ultimately marketing strategies. Therefore, our strategies should always tie back to a business goal. By relating our strategies and results back to the overarching goal, we can identify relevant KPIs and metrics that demonstrate our ability to contribute to the successful achievement of that goal.
Different business goals will require different metrics, but in general, we must look for metrics that track a consumer’s journey and interaction with our brand once they move on from the social media touchpoint.
A good example is a traditional sales goal. When we create content that is meant to draw a consumer into a sales funnel or move them through the funnel, we can look at conversion metrics from click through rates (CTR) to closed sales to directly attribute conversions to your content strategy. You can also determine attribution methods that take a deeper look at your strategies impact further down the consumer journey and more accurately report the impact of social media.
Ultimately, we must be able to identify metrics that tie the results of our content strategies directly to our business results.
Placing Vanity Metrics in Context
It is important to note, however, that we can derive some value from vanity metrics such as Likes and Shares. In order to do so, though, we must place these metrics in the proper context and use them when they are appropriate. That means using surface-level engagement metrics when the business goal is the dissemination of information.
For example, we can use Likes and Shares to build a narrative around successfully delivering key messaging in crisis management situations or promoting the launch of a new product or service. We can also support the results of community management campaigns which are meant to keep consumers informed and educated regarding key business goals.
The common thread, though, remains the conscious effort to tie back our social media strategies back to our marketing and business goals.
Marketers, digital or otherwise, will always need to demonstrate their ability to contribute to a business’s bottom line. By focusing on how we can serve business or marketing goals, we can identify the most valuable metrics for demonstrating the success of our social media strategies.