This week was supposed to be a big week for social media evaluation. It was supposed to be the week when everyone’s social media evaluation became that bit more accurate. This week, Facebook started to make good on its promise to weed out fake accounts. The results haven’t made a huge impression though.
The move has led to a big drop in some brands’ Likes but in most cases that change is less than 1%. Obviously companies that were engaged in buying Likes and misusing fake accounts have been hit, but very few marketers were concerned with that behavior anyway.
In truth using fake accounts and buying Likes weren’t great tactics to begin with. Likes are a great visual metric. It’s great to be able to say ‘we have x many fans’. But number of Likes is far from the most important metric on Facebook. Your social media evaluation should focus on the metrics that teach you about your social activity, rather than the ones that inflate your ego.
Metrics like Likes and Followers on Twitter do give a broad indication of your brand’s popularity, but they tell you little else. Clicking ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ is too easy to be a valid metric. You can’t claim a fan base through throwaway gestures; you need to look deeper.
Engagement is far more important to social media evaluation than Likes. Are your fans engaging with you on your social channels? You should be measuring the level of response you’re getting to your posts, as well as the level of conversation generated. This will help you to understand what kinds of posts are interesting your target market and can adjust your strategy accordingly.-Social Media Marketing Program
By analyzing the level of engagement on your social channels you can define what to post, when to post it and how to promote that post. If you’re creating content that prompts comment and debate, you’re more likely to convert that interest into sales.
Shares are natural partner of engagement. By measuring the frequency, timing and variety of shares, you get an even clearer picture of the success of your content. Shares also provide the opportunity to measure the reach of your content. If it’s being shared, it’s more likely to draw interest from people outside your own fans and followers.
Shares, as well as comments, also bear some qualitative assessment. A share from an influencer with a lot of followers can be more valuable than 10 shares from average users. By understanding what content is valuable to influential fans you can really boost your content’s reach.
Of course comments and shares are of little value, and could be damaging, if they’re attached to negative sentiments. It’s just as important to understand how people are talking about you, as it is to understand how often they talk about you. Social media evaluation is all about improving your social output, analyzing negative sentiment is a great way to find areas for improvement.
This might be the most important social media evaluation metric. Your social channels are important, but ultimately they are just channels. They should always send your customers back to your own site, or another location where they can buy your product. It’s really important that you understand which campaigns send the most traffic and create the most sales.
If this sounds like the most basic metric, that’s because it is. But it’s easy for brands to get caught up in other social media evaluation metrics like Likes. It’s vital that you remember all marketing channels, social or otherwise, are about sales first and foremost.
It’s important to stay on top of social media evaluation, so you have a constant picture of how to remain successful. The target is to reach as many prospects as possible, for those prospects to get positive messages about your brand and for them to go from prospects to sales. Fulfilling those criteria will mean you have a successful social channel, no matter how many Likes you have.
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