I’m reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform, at the moment. What I love about reading material from knowledgeable experts is that it makes me think more in-depth about ideas I don’t normally consider.
I’m often asked by clients about which metrics they should be noting. It doesn’t matter if they are an author or speaker looking to build a platform, or an entrepreneur looking to get found online. The question is always the same. Which metrics are important?
My reply is often this. The metrics that are important differ depending on the goal you’re trying to reach. Without knowing that goal, collecting data is almost pointless.
But here’s a metric that Michael pointed out that jumped out at me, because it’s more of a self-reflection. It’s the percent change in the last twelve months. This can apply for a website (as in Michael’s example in his book), or a social profile. It reflects the rate of growth in the last year.
Understanding this number helps you to recognize how effective you are at doing what you’ve set out to accomplish. Whether you’re building a platform or increasing visibility for your brand or product, you need to build a following, and that starts with creating relationships with people who value what you have to share. Whether or not they are coming back to your site on a repeated basis, and whether your information is finding it’s way out into the Ether is a huge part of that. But time spent on the site also has an effect on:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Here’s an excerpt from Michael’s description that explains how to calculate the percent of change in the past twelve months:
Here’s the formula: unique visitors in the last thirty days, minus your unique visitors for the same period twelve months ago, divided by your unique visitors for the same period twelve months ago, multiplied by one hundred.
A similar formula could be applied for a Twitter profile, Facebook page, LinkedIn account, etc. so long as you have the numbers needed for the calculation.
Looking at my own site, I’ve had a 347% increase in my website traffic since November 1, 2011. Unfortunately, I don’t have a full year’s worth of data yet, since I migrated my website in October last year. But in another couple of months, I will. The main point here is, I must be doing something right, and that’s encouraging to know.
If we base our assessment of our success on the number of comments we receive, it can seem like our efforts are getting us nowhere. But knowing that my message is being heard and noting that my page/visit count is also going up means I have more people coming to the site and they’re digesting more of what I’ve shared. And they’re doing that because they value what I have to share. In the process, relationships are being built as we engage with one another, content my readers value is shared within their networks, and more people are being helped by what I have to offer.
That makes the effort worthwhile.
So, how about you? What are you doing to influence and monitor your social growth?