Obviously, one of the simplest parts of social media to judge is your numbers. When they are going up, you’re doing well. If they are staying stagnant, you need to do something different. But, what if some numbers are going up and some are staying stagnant? Which numbers are the most important? In my experience, engagement numbers are more important than follower or fan count any day of the week. Thousands of fans and followers are worthless without replies, comments, retweets and sharing! Of course, we all want both, but I will take passionate followers over thousands of people who never reply to anything…
This is a tough one. You can’t get success out of social media without putting in some real time and commitment. But there is such thing as wasted time and too much time. You can easily get lost into social media without getting anything happening and it turns into wasted time. You can also get lost in it where you’re just spending too much time in there. Even if you’re getting results, sometimes it is important to get other things done too!
Of course, at the end of the day, even if the numbers are there and the time spent is fair, if the results fail to impress then what’s the point? There has to be some form of concrete results (tracking clicks, measuring engagement, increasing profits) and these all have to be measured. If you can’t measure these, then there is no evidence of what is working. But, before you get frustrated about your results, you need to understand that results will vary by your products, time and offerings. It is much easier to get conversation going when you’re a local restaurant or product that already is known than it is if you’re a plumber or sell to a very niche market. It doesn’t mean it can’t work, it just means it takes more time and effort to get things going.
The shortened version is: Social media is justifiable if, at the end of the day, you feel what you’re doing is improving your communication with potential customers, increasing the number of people you’re reaching, and that it will have long term results.
Kirsten Wright is the owner of web design and small business branding firm Wright Creativity. Read Kirsten Wright’s full PubCon speaker biography here.
Kirsten Wright video interview with PubCon’s Vanessa Zamora