You are here

Don’t count your followers before they have hatched

As B2B marketers from agencies across the country flocked to the Google offices for the monthly ABBA meeting, conversation quickly turned to everyone’s favourite topic – the issues facing agencies and marketers today.

The answer was clear. Gone are the days of businesses chucking money at campaigns and crossing their fingers; organisations want to know exactly what financial benefits they will see from their marketing spend and need to hear those three magic words: Return on Investment.

All this means one thing – every piece of campaign activity has to be measured for its results, and ultimately the amount of leads these bring for the sales team.

This all left us with one niggling thought – when ROI is, quite rightly, the big thing businesses are looking for, why on earth is everyone so fixated on their number of followers, likes and group numbers?

More and more you read case studies shouting about ‘big results from campaigns’:

10,000 followers in two weeks! Over 400 Facebook likes! At least 7 retweets!

Who cares?

Don’t get us wrong - we are huge advocates of using social media to drive leads, engage in conversations online and share engaging content. With a great social media strategy we are in no doubt that you will see some real value for your business.

So how do you start effectively measuring the real benefits you get from the time and money you put into the social media side of a campaign?

Firstly, go back to your original objectives for the campaign. Is your blogging, tweeting and sharing bringing results that fit with these?

Secondly, if you are ‘follower counting’, make sure you count those who fit with your target audience. 15 year old Justin Bieber fans may well push up your numbers but it is unlikely they are going to be your typical buyer?

Finally, how many sales leads are coming directly from your social media activity and the conversations you have online. With bigger and better Google analytics recently launched, this is far easier to track than it used to be. Otherwise simply asking the inbound lead how they found you may be all the insight you need.

Social media is essential as a part of the marketing mix and brings great results - just make sure you celebrate the right ones.

A lot like age, followers are but a number – it’s the value that counts.