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Establish Important Social Media Metrics Early On

It’s been said that social media ultimately boils down to a numbers game.

Getting the most Likes on a Facebook page, or lots of re-tweets being seen as an indicator of success or failure

I would argue that for personal use, numbers have little to do with getting the most out of the platforms. You get what you put in. Your social media profiles ultimately become whatever you want them to be.

However for business, numbers mean everything. Not in the sense of trying to get Likes or Followers in hoards. Rather, what I’m talking about are metrics of success.

Social media analytics and insights are critcally important to understanding how a social media campaign is resonating with customers and users.

Before you start a campaign, you should first establish the metrics that you and your company believe are most important. You’re given a lot of data to look at. Before you kick off a campaign, decide the ones that will give you the most relevant data. It might not always be Likes or Followers.

Knowing how to make sense of that data ahead of time will also help to prevent confusion, or misinterpretation of actions.

InformationWeek.com columnist David F. Carr wrote about that in his column on the state of social media analytics:

You have to decide how far to trust the data coming from an uncontrolled medium. If you were to mine the comments sections of newspaper websites dealing with the budget, the Tea Party, the debate over lifting the debt limit, or the recent Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. Treasury bonds, you could certainly get a sample of consumer sentiment, but how representative is it? How many of the people posting are actually lobbyists and their minions? How many are professional complainers and cranks?

Within the data, there are often caveats that give you bits of data that the larger data picture doesn’t tell. To find them, you’ve got to dig a bit deeper into the data. Sometimes those buried data points can be the most telling indicators of a campaign’s success or failure.

Dig through the data and familiarize yourself with the smaller pieces of data that help to tell the larger story. Learn what they mean, and how to explain it to your superiors.

While total Likes and Followers are what most companies want to know about, there are other data points that can often be more telling and offer richer insights into the actions of your customers and users.

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