Why are Social Media Metrics Important to Community Management?

Image courtesy of Gaurav Mishra.

“Keeping up with new social media and analytics buzzwords, learning what they all mean, and understanding their importance can easily become overwhelming.”
– Adam Schoenfeld

Hands down, the best blog post to read about the importance of social media metrics is Adam Schoenfeld’s, “Beyond the Buzz: 41 Social Media Metrics Defined.” Schoenfeld makes a complicated subject easy to understand by defining and dividing the forty-one social media metrics into nine different categories, explaining the importance of each and then dividing those categories into two and four subcategories where he goes into greater detail.

Below is a condensed version with my thoughts in italics:

  • Audience Metrics: the people who choose to join the social media community and each community has it’s own lingo (Example: Facebook has fans or likes while Twitter has followers)
  • Social Listening & Monitoring: identifying opportunities to engage with your audience and monitoring the perceptions of your brand or company through multiple social media platforms (Example: the people behind the “Hannibal” Tumblr page – by far the best interaction I’ve seen between company and fanbase)
  • Engagement Metrics: knowing the different types of engagement can help you understand how effective your interactions with the community will be (Example: you’re more likely to get UGC from Tumblr than from Facebook)
  • Content Performance: tracking and analyzing content to discover what causes some content to succeed and other content to fail (Example: how many likes, reblogs or favorites do you get on different social media platforms)
  • Total Exposure Metrics & Social Graph: the size of the primary audience and the relationship between the community and brand (Example: how many followers do you have and how receptive are they to you?)
  • Customer Service: important aspect to have in order to build a strong community (Example: how fast do you respond to a question? From the perspective of the community, are you doing all you can?)
  • Demographics: knowing different ways or social media platforms to engage with your audience (Example: Tumblr holds a different community base than Facebook. Tumblr will get you UGC and analysis whereas Facebook is more likely to share/spread knowledge of your brand or company)
  • Competitive Analysis: monitor and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns against the competition (Example: what are people saying on Twitter? How is the response on Facebook?)
  • Additional Key Phrases: other important buzzwords that also happen to be some of Schoenfeld’s favorites
Image courtesy of Gaurav Mishra.

Image courtesy of Gaurav Mishra.

While I was reading Schoenfeld’s article I kept thinking of the social media team behind NBC’s Hannibal and that whoever is in charge of their accounts, specifically Tumblr, knows the perfect way to interact* with their audience. Based on Schoenfeld’s post, the community manager behind the Tumblr page is clearly aware of seven of the eight metric categories. As for the eighth, their team must be aware of what the competition is doing but so far the only real competition I see them having is with another NBC show, “The Blacklist.”

Schoenfeld recommends Simply Measured as a way to track and analyze the metrics of your social media platforms, the only downside being that it costs money. However, through a class discussion we were exposed to Klout, a free way to see how a person or community ranks. It’s really user-friendly and it generates a graph based on your influence on social media.

Let me know in the comments below if you use Klout and what your number is or if you find another site that works just as well. Have fun!

*Over the summer, Photoshopping flower crowns onto your favorite character’s heads was all the rage on Tumblr. In less than a month the people behind NBC’s Hannibal page had found ways to get the actors to wear flower crowns behind the scenes and at events. They were clearly following the trends in the site and made themselves topical. As someone who follows them and other companies, their willingness to “play along” with their fans, made their fanbase not only get closer and stronger but grow as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *