Your fan page has 5,607 likes? So what. You increased traffic to your website by 25% last month? Yawn. Many online marketers get excited about these metrics, and I’d bet those same individuals won’t hold their jobs for very long. Is getting followers to a social media account important? Yes. Do you want them visiting your website? Of course. These aren’t the end goals,though. Social media is a channel like television or radio or print. Getting your audience to pay attention is the first obstacle; getting them engaged so that they will buy from you is the ultimate goal.
Facebook’s Social Engagement Metrics
Facebook is so popular it’s not even funny. Virtually every commercial to every pizza box to every store front window has some kind of reference to a presence on the social media network. Getting likes is great, but there are some other metrics that marketers should be paying closer attention to.
Talking about this
If you run a fan page, you may have noticed this metric conspicuously floating next to the number of likes on your page. Facebook defines this as any time someone creates a story in their timeline by sharing, commenting, liking or responding to a post or comment of yours.
The basic theory here is that all the people connected to your business’ page are also connected to the pages of others. When they interact with your content, they also show that content to those they are connected with, thereby exposing your business to more people.
A secondary benefit (or perhaps the primary one) is that a follower has engaged with your brand. They have reached out and participated willingly in a conversation with your business.
When marketing with Facebook, your success must necessarily be measured by whether or not you accomplished your goals. In many cases, you are much more likely to accomplish your goals if you are getting followers to engage with your business.
Important Metrics on Twitter
Favorites, Retweets and Replies
Each network has its own name for engagement, but the name of the game is still pretty much the same. On Twitter, getting followers is great, but getting people to share your content is way better. This comes in the form of favorites, retweets and replies.
When you send out a tweet, a good strategy is to get someone with a lot of followers to retweet it. Once they do that, everyone who is following them sees the content that you have published. To a lesser extent, getting someone to favorite a tweet gets it a little more attention.
Having someone reply to a tweet is also a sign that they want to engage with your brand. Say you post a tweet about a recent blog post on your website and share a link in the tweet, as well. If you can get others talking about it by replying to your tweet, you are more likely to be seen by their followers, and you are also engaging in conversation with a member of your target market.
Converting your Followers
No matter which network you are active on, you must have a way to track your business success. This means tagging links or having specialized campaigns. Using tools like HubSpot can help you track those visitors who just came to your site for a peek, and those who actually made a purchase.
With tools like these, you can see if Jane Doe who commented on your shared link clicked through to your website and completed a conversion funnel. Using tools like Google Analytics or even built-in social analytics, you can tell which posts received the most engagement and which did not.
In your quest for thousands of followers, don’t forget the next pieces to the puzzle. Yes, gaining followers is an important piece because without followers, no one will see the content you post. Once you have the followers, though, the next step is getting them to engage with your brand and hopefully buy from you.
Have you been guilty of focusing too much on the wrong metrics in social media marketing? What eventually made you change your thinking? Let us know by dropping a line or leaving a comment below.