Ever since childhood, we’ve strived for popularity. We want to hang out with the cool kids, avoid getting picked last for that game of kickball and get invited to all the fun slumber parties.
The value of popularity is been something that’s been engrained in our psyche throughout our entire lives.
But as kids, we didn’t walk around boasting the number of friends we have. Today, we do that thanks to social media.
With just a few clicks, we can see exactly how many Twitter followers, Facebook fans and LinkedIn connections you have. We can see how many people have viewed your YouTube videos or shared your latest blog post.
And, with all these numbers so easily available, people and businesses often get caught up in a fantastic pissing contest over who is the most popular.
Although these vanity metrics can hold some value, it is not a true indicator of business success. After all, followers and fans can be bought. And, more importantly, a large following doesn’t necessarily equal more sales.
Now that we’ve reached the end of the year, it’s time to evaluate your marketing and social media efforts to see what worked, what didn’t and determine ways to tweak and improve your approach for next year.
If success means online popularity for you, that’s great. But, most businesses would rather have increased revenue and profits.
If you’re in the second camp, here are a few questions you can ask to begin to evaluate your efforts:
- How much traffic did social media drive to your website?
- Where did your traffic come from (i.e. search, referrals, ads, etc.)?
- What kind of actions did they take once they got there?
- Did they leave a comment on your blog?
- Did they subscribe to your blog or e-letter?
- Did they purchase something on your site?
- Did they take the next step to become a client?
- Where did your leads come from? How many came from social media?
- Where did your clients come from this year?
- Did increased interaction and engagement on social media lead to new business?
- Did clients become more loyal to your brand by buying again or referring others?
- Did social media help shorten the amount of time it took to close a deal?
- Did overall revenue and profit margins increase?
Certainly, these questions just scratch the surface of what you will need to ask to evaluate your efforts. And, what you consider depends largely on your goals from this past year and the marketing efforts you undertook.
But, hopefully, this helps you look at the numbers that really matter instead of the ones that everyone else can see.
Run Your Own Race
As you plan for 2013, it’s important to develop the marketing and social media plan that makes the most sense for your business instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing.
I call this running your own race. That means choosing the right goals, the right social networks and the right ways to spend your time.
And sometimes, that even means forgoing popularity for something that’s far more important for your bottom line.
What do you think? Are you too caught up in popularity and vanity metrics? How do you measure success?
Image credit: Adam Fagen