The Most Overlooked Factor of Social Media Measurement

Businesses often get discouraged when they decide to make the jump into social media and do not have the huge user following they read about from other brands.  Where are their 100 thousand Facebook Fans or 1 million YouTube views?  If you are just leveraging social media marketing to count things, like followers or Likes or check-ins, than you are missing the boat.

Social media is all about engagement and brands being able to interact with users in ways they couldn’t before.  However, a lot of businesses, especially those just starting out, fail to measure engagement in the proper way.

Let’s say Brand A has a Facebook page with 1 million users who “Like” their page.  On average when they are making updates they get around 200 people commenting on the post and 500 people “liking” it.  Brand A might be the typical consumer brand that is very popular and just built up a huge user base on Facebook by starting a page and putting a Facebook logo on their homepage.

Brand B’s Facebook page has just 10 thousand “Likes” and when they post updates they usually muster up 10 comments and 10 people “liking” the post.  They might be a smaller brand that doesn’t have a big time marketing budget and is looking to make a big splash in social media by connecting with loyal customers.  They look at Brand A and think “Wow they are killing it in social media and doing way better than us.” Surprisingly, they would be wrong.

When looking at engagement numbers in social media, whether it is “likes”, comments, @ replies, etc., brands need to reevaluate how they judge them. Brands now have to analyze engagement numbers compared to their user base, not just as stand alone numbers.  Sure Brand A has more engagement on their Facebook page but Brand B has a much better engagement rate compared to its user base.  To quantify it more, Brand A is having an engagement rate of .07% for its updates where Brand B is .2%.

Now it doesn’t end there for social media analytics, but putting metrics into the proper perspective is key when starting out in social media. Success doesn’t happen overnight and the hardest work is definitely up front in establishing a core user base.  The best part of social media is that even a user base of 10 could have a bigger positive effect on your brand than 1 million users.  You just have to engage with the right people.

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