Defining Success In Social Media

July 20, 2010  |   Social Media   |   Jameson  |   0 Comment
Defining Success In Social Media

One of the major challenges that social media agencies and consultants have is setting meaningful definitions of what success in social media really means for their clients. This is clearly the result of spending too much time in the “social media bubble” and cut off from the rest of the business community.

While it’s a common belief that primary social media metrics consist solely of things like comments, discussion volume, trending topics, share of voice, Facebook “fans,” Twitter followers and retweets,  the truth is that these do not matter at all. Even if you are given the directive to “go get more followers/fans,” I beg you to challenge that position. Instead, you should work to understand where the request is coming from adjust activities to meet the underlying needs that are driving the discussion.  Getting their new advertising campaign to trend on Twitter may be an interesting anecdote, but when budgets are being cut, it won’t be enough to save someone’s job.

What all marketing programs need to focus on, whether based in traditional or new social web tools, is lead generation and driving sales.

Rather than beginning your social media program by looking at the online community, the media they create and share, the digital channels they occupy and then brainstorming on how a social media monitoring and engagement program can help meet your marketing goals, work backwards.

Instead, first consider what key marketing performance indicators are going to keep your company at the forefront of your customers’ minds for the next four quarters and drive fear into the hearts of your competitors. Connect those performance measurements to customer behavior online and start there.

By putting traditional marketing and communications performance indicators first, you can set the framework for all forthcoming social media efforts and avoid doing “social media for the sake of social media.” Build your social media programs based on the performance indicators that will not only keep you employed in a economic climate with such heavy marketing turnover, but earn that yourself next promotion.

Photo Credit: Cristiano Corsini

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