Is the primary goal of your social media initiatives to generate more and more fans and followers? It shouldn't be. While increasing your social media reach is a great thing to aspire to achieve, more fans and followers are really just a means to an end. So what should you be hoping to achieve at the end through that increased reach? More traffic, leads, and ultimately customers, of course!

social media metricsUnfortunately, the majority of marketers don't see it that way. According to Chief Marketer's 2011 Social Media Marketing Survey, the number of friends, followers, and likes is the leading measure of social media success for 60% of marketers. In fact, only 35% of marketers said they track qualified leads from social media. This means that a whopping 65% of marketers aren't even measuring leads generated from social media. Eek!

What's wrong with this picture? While social media adoption has continued to increase among marketers, it seems that many are at a loss for understanding what the true benefit is of participating in social media. Furthermore, Chief Marketer discovered that just 13% of respondents believed they were very effective at measuring their social media campaigns. Another 47% thought they were somewhat effective, 28% admitted they weren't very effective, and 12% confessed they weren't effective at all.

While yes, generating engagement is valuable, engagement shouldn't be the ultimate goal. Increasing engagement for the sake of generating more traffic, leads, and customers is. After all, if at the end of the day you have nothing to show for your increased reach, is the marketing effort even worth it?

Marketing Takeaway

How effective do you think your marketing team is at measuring the success of your social media campaigns? Are your specific social media goals appropriately aligned with your overall marketing goals?

Furthermore, evaluate whether the tactics you're using in your social media efforts are appropriately contributing to those goals. If the goal is to generate leads, focus on maximizing your social media efforts for lead generation. Most importantly, as a marketer, it's critically important to effectively measure and track these results. Use marketing analytics tools to monitor traffic, leads, and customers from social media, and more granularly, specific social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Understanding which site is producing the best results can provide you with powerful insights about where to focus your efforts and where to limit your time.

Are you measuring your social media success to align with your overall marketing goals?


Originally published Oct 27, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated June 11 2021


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