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SOCIAL MEDIA: What is success on social media?

Social media columnist
Social media columnist

Everyone says you should be on social media and it can be an important element in any marketing plan. However, it may not be right for everyone and other marketing tools may be more effective.

If you are looking for a large following, want to build your brand presence, attract people to either your local physical, or online store or have a specific target audience who spend their time on social media then it is clearly the right thing to do.

A lot of potential clients I talk to are quite shocked when I tell them that if they are only looking for a handful of new customers a year then spending a lot of time on social media could be a waste. There are other better ways to reach those potential customers and I’m happy to help them with those too.

It’s important to remember though that social media is just that . . . social.

The value of relationship building can’t be measured easily and so it is hard to measure success on social media unless you’ve clearly defined what you want to achieve at the outset.

Engagement on Social Media

The goal of social media isn’t to sell directly. It’s to create engagement and build a relationship. For this reason, you should start measuring success by how much your content is engaging your audience.

Engagement can be measured by things like:

-- Clicks on links in your social media posts (this can be measured through your website analytics)

-- Comments on your social media posts

-- Shares and, on Twitter, retweets

-- Ratings and comments on your YouTube videos

-- Comments and shares on your blog posts

-- Mentions of your company or brand on social media (you can set up alerts to find these).

While growth can be a measure that you’re doing something right, it’s not always the best metric to measure. You can grow your followers a great deal without it necessarily translating to any kind of results. The goal is engagement and conversions, not simply numbers.

Taking Action – Measuring Conversions

An even more important way to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing is to look at the actual results that come from social media. If the end goal is to lead people to your website where they make a purchase, ask your customers directly or with a survey what referred them to your site. See how many of them are referred through social media.

Sales aren’t the only measurement. Whatever action it is you’d like these potential customers to take can also be measured. You may want them to sign-up to your mailing list, for example. In that case, you’d measure how many of the subscribers came to your list through social media.

Make a great start to 2015 by taking the first step and define a clear goal for your social media marketing. Then take this goal and then figure out how you can tell whether you’re reaching it or not.



A busy couple of weeks as Facebook Introduces New Tools for Media Publishers: These new Facebook media publishing tools allow you ‘to target posts, remove posts that are no longer relevant and identify popular links that you haven’t shared’.

They have also made improvements ‘to Domain Insights to show how pages and social plugins drive traffic to websites’, made it easier to find posts that have been shared with you and added ‘Trending’ to its mobile app though this is starting in the USA and then being rolled out.

They have also introduced Call to Action buttons designed to bring a business’s most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence. Call-to-action buttons link to any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with a business’s goals so Page Admins can select from a group of call-to-action buttons – like Book Now, Shop Now or Sign Up – to add to the top of their page. Available worldwide in the new year.


Announced it is rolling out a redesigned Home Page to make it easier to stay connected with a ‘Keep in Touch’ box up on the right of the page. Share a comment, say congratulations, or simply like an update in just seconds.


Now Supports a Number of Ways to Express Gender Identity: The gender field on your profile will now contain four entries, ‘Male,’ ‘Female,’ ‘Decline to state’ and ‘Custom’. So if you want to be a Jedi Knight you can!