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Metrics: When Less is More

Originally published in Portuguese in this blog 

In a world increasingly focused on social media, we’ve all heard someone brag about their number of Instagram followers, LinkedIn connections, Likes on Facebook. In business, regarding to social media, are the metrics most required by the CEO’s but are these the ones who really matter to business?

Before analyzing any metric, we must consider what purpose we are proposing, be it on a landing page, in a post, or any digital content. A single primary objective should be defined and only then KPI’s can be established.

The number of followers or likes on pages are the most comparable metrics – at first glance. On the other hand, we must take into account that any sharing is presented to only a small percentage of our followers and, depending on their interaction, it will drive more reach.

In most businesses, the quantity of followers on social media can even may be counterproductive. The algorithms try to show us the content that is most relevant, if the created content is initially presented to users with low interest, it will most likely go unnoticed and never appear to the targeted individuals.

The importance of having interested followers, aligned with page communication overlaps the quantity simply reflected in the numbers.

But what is the metric that we should use as KPI?

The correct answer is: it depends.

On a corporate page, for a review on the page quality, a more accurate metric would be, for example, the average number of interactions (likes, reactions, comments, and sharing) in the last 5 posts.

In regard to Facebook Ads, in the Ads Manager we find an interesting metric: the Quality Score. This, however, measures the quality of the ad and not specifically its goal, if we want is to get registrations on a certain content, a high Quality Score will help, however, we will achieve more accurate insights by looking into CTR (Click Through Rate) or CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).

In a Personal Marketing aspect we can also talk about the amount of people we add on Facebook or LinkedIn, but here the criterion must be consistent with the person’s own personality and reflect their day by day posture. The same logic of the algorithms applies to personal accounts, however, the initial sample tends to be higher since personal shares have higher relevance and space in the feeds.

LinkedIn has a metric that allows us to analyze the strength of our personal profile, the Social Selling Index, however it does not exist in the corporate pages.

Find out your Social Selling Index here.

Having a high number of connections on LinkedIn can also be counterproductive. Let’s imagine the situation: adding people without any criteria in order to have a certain number of connections and a “credible profile”. Social networks exists to facilitate new connections, but we must take into account each new connection request, ponder common interests and initiate a conversation, adding value to both parties.

Having a LinkedIn connection, without a real connection, in addition to causing the loss of relevance and scope of our shares, we run the risk of frowning on a situation where we’re asked for references or an introduction.

Presenting large numbers is always attractive to include in performance reports and results, but to optimize our efforts, we must focus on the metrics that really matter. It is more impressive to present 10,000 likes than to present a 10% engagement rate, but if both premises are true we have added the useful to the pleasant in a sustainable growth, is not this our real goal?

Originally published in Portuguese in this Blog 

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