6 Reasons Why Your Measurement Sucks

By Jenna Lebel

“We’re not seeing strong results.” I cringe every time I hear a phrase uttered along those lines. Not because I’m concerned about lack of innovation or sound strategy, but because it usually means a lack of proper measurement and showcasing of results. Let’s face it; effective social media measurement is not always easy. There are several things you can measure and so many ways to measure that it becomes a complicated process. I don’t have the winning formula myself, but I am aware of some losing formulas. Here are 6 reasons why your social media measurement sucks.

You only focus on Likes and follows

More followers and likes does not directly translate into higher returns for your brand. While I understand the need to want to have a bigger sized community than your competitors, it’s really a meaningless measure of success. People are not making purchasing decisions based on how many likes a brand has. And the companies bringing in the most revenue every year do not necessarily have the most likes on their Facebook pages. Having over a million fans is admittedly cool, but if they are not interacting with your brand or taking action how valuable are they?

You’re only measuring what’s there

Almost all of the major social platforms provide some sort of built-in analytics which include the very basic, obvious metrics. Your measurement sucks if you are just looking at these numbers. Through some manual work or third-party tools you can dive deeper into these metrics in meaningful ways.

You don’t compare your results to the industry in general or your competitors

It’s easy to set goals for yourself, measure against them and report on them. And hopefully if you’re setting realistic goals you can even achieve them. But you’re competing against yourself; it’s not a difficult race to win. How are you measuring up to your competition? How do you fare against the industry in general?

You aren’t telling a story

If your report can’t answer the tough questions like what do these numbers mean then your measurement sucks. Straight data reporting is not an effective way to measure social media. Analysis is such a critical piece of everything. Equally important in storytelling is the anecdotal and qualitative data that can be extracted through everyday interactions with consumers. Some of these stories make the best case studies in generating continued support internally.

You aren’t able to adjust your strategy as a result

If you are reporting on your social media efforts and are not seeing results that are guiding your strategy, you likely aren’t measuring correctly. Ultimately, the numbers should dictate the course ahead. What worked? What didn’t work? Why? What can we adjust to make it work next time? There is a tremendous amount to be learned from the data you are compiling that should help craft your next move.

You think Klout judges your overall success in the space

I have a problem with using one number to judge the effectiveness of an integrated social media strategy, especially if that number is a Klout score. I think social influence can be important, but I don’t know that Klout is the ultimate indicator of that influence. The algorithm has major flaws and the system can be gamed.

What are your tips for effective measurement of your social media efforts? Download our free ROI book here

Jon Loomer April 2, 2012
Hey now! It's true. It's easy to get wrapped up in the wrong stats -- the easy stats that everyone sees. I admit to looking at Klout once per week or so, but it doesn't motivate me one way or the other. I hate the thought behind it of "influence," particularly since people so willingly manipulate to be perceived as influential. Anyway, good stuff. For me, the measurement has to be relative to the effort put in. I put in very little effort on Twitter and Google Plus. So I don't have high expectations. I basically just check referrals, clicks and retweets. But on Facebook, I need to make sure my efforts are being reflected. So it's more about how many people are engaging, sharing, talking, referring, etc.
Jenna April 2, 2012
Great point Jon! Measurement is definitely all relative to the effort put in and the priorities of your efforts. If your priority is Facebook for your company and that’s where you are focusing your efforts you should be measuring much more closely and ensuring you have effective metrics established. 
Jenna April 2, 2012
Great point Jon! Measurement is definitely all relative to the effort put in and the priorities of your efforts. If your priority is Facebook for your company and that's where you are focusing your efforts you should be measuring much more closely and ensuring you have effective metrics established.

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