Understanding Metrics

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Understanding Metrics
Although you will be tempted to compare yourself to everyone else, you have to discipline yourself to read results in terms of comparable information, and not absolute numbers. Just because you have 9,000 followers on Twitter does not mean you should compare yourself to anyone else with the same numbers. Look at your marketing strategy, your goals, and your own results. Determine whether you have relationships with your community, or you are simply gathering numbers.
 
Look for specific issues, such as:

  • Abrupt or unexpected changes in lists, contacts, and/or visitors
  • A peak in traffic or sales that can be linked to a specific social marketing tactic
  • Negative and positive trends that last for several weeks or months

 
Abrupt or unexpected changes can mean that your account(s) have been hacked and are being sabotaged.
A peak related to a specific event can be tough to replicate. Consumers don’t want (and won’t respond to) the same tactics again and again. If you launch a campaign that does well, but requires every visitor to fill out a form with their name, e-mail, and demographics, they may not be as willing to comply on subsequent visits.
While positive trends are normally desirable, they can also signal a problem. For example, if your account or website is accumulating visits but readers only stop for a moment on your page, they are not reading what you are saying.
Negative trends that last for a prolonged period can signal a real problem, like the loss of your client base. Make sure you know, or are able to figure out, what is going on. Look everywhere you can for information; not just at the metrics, but at what people are saying about your company in all forms of media.
 
Timing is Everything
There is some interesting research being done about when you release a campaign and how effective it is. The actual research is constantly evolving and varies depending on geography, industry, and other factors, but we will share the essential ideas here with you.
If your goal is to reach as many people you can as fast as possible, then you need to launch your campaign at a time when your target market is using social media. Many times, marketers will launch a campaign while they are at work. They might work a Monday to Friday schedule, work like mad on a campaign all week, and then hit “send” on the campaign just before going home on Friday afternoon. They are not available to interact with readers, answer questions, or even to see if something goes awry. Not surprisingly, the targets of that campaign might be on a journey home or to begin their weekend too. The campaign fails before it even gets started.
If you want your message to catch people’s eye before they start a workday, and your prospects are around the world, the saturation rate might be more effective if you stagger messages by time zone. You may also want to release your messages with slightly different wording at several different times to catch as many people as you can.
 
Things to think about:

  • If you are gearing your message toward specific people, what is the best time to catch their attention?
  • If your target audience works shifts and you have no idea when they are reachable, how will you get your message to them?
  • Avoid sending campaigns toward the end of the work week. (The beginning is better.)
  • Use multiple channels and multiple messages to connect with your market.
  • People don’t usually look for your messages. You have to reach out and catch their attention.
  • Sometimes a strong campaign goes viral (the best digital reach of all) because they stir up emotions in your marketplace: they make people happy, sad, or irritate them into action. What’s the best message for your product or service to reach your customers and prospects? (Accept the fact it may not be the way that you prefer. It may also not be the technique that marketing instructors teach.)