Social Metrics, Meet Content Metrics: Why Your Follower Count Isn’t Telling You All You Need To Know
How does it feel to get a Twitter invite from a dog?
I logged into my account this morning to find a mugshot of a well groomed German Shepherd staring back at me. Yes, I’d just been sent an invite by a Twitter-using dog who had over 100K followers to his credit.
I went through a sequence of emotions after seeing that notification. The first was shock. “That’s quite a fan following for a dog.” Point to note: his last tweet was, ‘woof’. Shock promptly morphed into shame as my own follower count looked meagre in comparison. After a range of similar not-so-pleasing emotions, I hit a nirvana-esque realisation. And it’s what led to this post.
How can a dog have over 100K followers? And if a dog can manage that, what does it mean for brands that judge their success (or failure) on the basis of such numbers?
Every conversation, blog post or article is a piece of content that wields immense value. As brands clamor for a larger number of followers than their competitors’, often the value of the intelligence tucked behind these pieces of content gets ignored. This post isn’t about devaluing the impact of every incremental spike in your network of followers. What it strives to do is throw light on the need to look at those numbers in the context of what they represent. Context is irreplaceable in the understanding of content. And in the context of the socialverse, that content is all around you.
Social media metrics don’t tell it all
In this post, Doug Kessler talks about the most dreaded metaphors that affect marketing, one of which is ‘the follower’. Quoting him, “If you’re busy counting your followers and collecting ‘likes’, you’re ignoring the thing that really matters.”
And getting there isn’t about getting that ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’. It’s about what comes after it. The answer to that doesn’t lie in the numbers themselves but in engaging with the people behind them.
You spend a week on a video and it gets you a thousand views. Time well spent? Definitely.
You spend a month on a research piece and it gets you a hundred leads.
The same numbers tell a different story depending on the context that you see them in. Unless the content that you laboriously create leads to an actual action on the part of the reader, it’s as good as not being there. While every piece of content need not lead to a download or a purchase, it is important that it elicit a reaction from the audience that it is meant for.
If a thousand marketers download your whitepaper on Marketing Automation, that’s a clear metric of success. But how do you gauge success for an article, a blog post, or a social media post?
A good measure of success lies in comparing your share of voice to the engagement it generates. This method takes into account the content you put into the socialverse and translates it to engagement – shares, likes and comments – that it generated as a consequence.
What helps in validating the engagement a level further is pitting your content against that created by other players in the industry, preferably around the same time. This helps to identify how much of the engagement generated over that period of time has gone into your competition’s bucket and how much belongs solely to you.
Content metrics along with social media metrics
“Create content that reaches your audience’s audience.”- Ann Handley
Success isn’t limited to managing to get a Like or a Follow from your audience. While social media metrics are important in letting you know the extent of your popularity over a period of time or for a specific campaign, in order to really understand the audience that you are creating content for, you need to dig a bit deeper.
That’s where content intelligence comes to the fore. By breaking down content to its meta-attributes, brands can understand what resonates with their audience. Based on the social metrics that throw light on the right time when these pieces of content perform best, marketers can identify the when-and-how of content so they effectively reach audiences. This helps in mobilizing armies – your followers who already swear by your content – to transmit your content to others like them.
The answer doesn’t lie in choosing between social metrics or content metrics to measure success. It lies in looking at both in tandem for a view of the bigger picture. The content that you create as a consequence of this collaborated understanding won’t just be more precise, it will be more relatable, and as a result, a lot more successful.
EpicEnterprise by Epictions combines social media insights with content intelligence to help create content that is more reflective of your audience and their needs. Request a demo here or talk to us to know how we can help your brand.