Social Media Metrics - where do you even begin?

Photo by  Dmitry Ratushny  on  Unsplash

Depending on where you are in your business, and what you're trying to do, you need to be measuring different things. Open up your dashboard or insights page and you're going to face a plethora of information - where do you begin?

Social media data doesn't need to be difficult, but first, you need to know what you're trying to do (otherwise, what does an increase in follower numbers mean for your business? It doesn't necessarily lead to more sales). As a brand, you need to be careful about measuring the right things, as an agency you need to be honest and help your clients and guide them to things that actually help their business and not just vanity metrics (in most cases impressions are meaningless without further data points).

Don't get sucked in measuring the wrong things, and don't blindly try out tactics on social media if you aren't measuring and recording data. Work with your data and get more meaningful results.

If you're a small company and growing you need to measure different thing - I wrote about this in detail on Medium and you can read it here.

Hire full-time or hire an agency?

Photo by  Brooke Lark  on  Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

This question doesn't get asked as much as I would like. It seem people automatically assume that hiring a marketing agency is expensive and hiring full-time marketing support is better. But is that really so? *HINT* NO.

Hiring full-time support makes sense when you know specifically what you want, and you need someone to take on only that specific role. For example, if you're an e-commerce platform and you need someone to manage SEO/SEM. However, what tends to happen is that companies hire a digital marketer and expects them to do EVERYTHING under the digital marketing umbrella - this includes social media, content creation, SEO/SEM/PPC, influencer outreach among many other things. Sure these people exist, but they're few and far between (and expensive!). In reality, most digital marketers are specialists in only one (if you're lucky two) of the categories.

On the other hand, with agencies you can tap into their resources. For the same price as hiring one digital marketer (we'll assume they're a social media manager), you can hire an agency that has resources across content creation, data analytics, etc. Most companies are small and don't need full-time help across all the different areas, so hiring an agency makes more sense.

In many cases hiring a full-time digital marketer means that this person is just there to manage all the different agencies that the company is using.

Deciding to hire between a digital marketing agency and a full-time digital marketer really depends on what stage your company is currently in. In most cases you can't go wrong with going with an agency (obviously biased), but like everything there are many different factors affecting the decision.

I spent a bit more time analysing the different situations, and you can read them on MEDIUM.

Appropriate Goal Setting Can Make The Difference


Goal setting is hard, it's even harder when it's for digital marketing.

Fancy vanity metrics such as follower numbers or reach are great when you're talking to people who don't know what they're talking about (your manager? your MD? Great when you're looking to get a raise or promotion). But for the people in the industry, they're just the beginning to understanding what social can really output for the company.

Instead of followers, what's vastly more important is the conversion (for sales) or even the shares (for engagement). Vanity metrics can be faked through a variety of ways - bots, ads, etc. but you need a product that people genuinely need to actually get sales (or even get them to share it with their friends).

If you're still only tracking the basic metrics, and you're a seasoned digital/social media marketer, it's likely because 1) you don't know better or 2) you know your product/content isn't very good.

Time to make some changes, and go after some goals that actually matter. You've heard it plenty, but data truly is the key to success in the digital age.

Wrote more about this topic (and tips on how to do this) on Medium, check it out here.

Divergent thinking, easier than you think

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Brainstorming works when you do it properly - this means not thinking about 10 ideas, but 100 ideas. Often people stop just short of creating magic, and with practice, persistence pays off.

For digital marketing, in particular, there are many ways to A/B test different headlines. Only lazy people try one and run. If you want to stand out in social media ads, the same thing - test non-stop. You can't test properly unless you have many different things to test (headlines, graphics, captions, etc.). 

A little creativity never hurt anyone, and in a cluttered space (e-commerce, anyone?), you need every advantage you can get to stand out. If everyone is using the same headline, it's time to try something new and grab your audience's attention.

Thinking about pushing (sales), here are 100 different ideas on headlines.

Wednesday Updates

Things we're thinking about this week.


The internet has been good to us. Without it, it's hard to imagine functioning anymore (the panic you get when you forget your mobile phone, but not when you forget your wallet). What's important to realise though is that it's a relatively new technology (still). We're still trying to figure out the best ways to use the tool (even as technology constantly iterates). Who knows where it's going to take us.

What's interesting though is the competition for attention. As more and more things compete for our attention, we're forced to make a decision as to what is more important. In the case of Instagram (and Snapchat before it), stories are taking over - the overwhelming urgency of the content (disappearing in 24 hours) means you NEED to look at it before it's gone (what if it's something important?). In reality, it's rarely ever urgent, but because there's no way of knowing, you look at it. While it still might just be a gimmick that's got everyone's attention (and a great one that Snapchat was built on), someone is going to figure out how to get your attention in a new way in the future (not built upon urgency, but probably built on 'need to know' basis).


While technology is ever-changing, some things will never change. Weird people and pie charts.



Wednesday Updates

Some things we've been thinking about this week.


The (rising) domination of podcasts - looking back it almost seems inevitable. What's really interesting is looking at how the medium and the approach has changed in the last couple of years. I'm looking forward to more production (again Gimlet does a really good job). Whether this will one day all be replaced by visual content is yet to be seen (driver-less cars?). Exciting times.

What do employees want? - This is an interesting way to look at the issue - I don't think it's something anyone is going to solve anytime soon (largely because it's constantly evolving). What's more interesting is how companies can embed these areas they've identified and infused it into the company culture. Easier said than done.

YouTube - not the glamorous life it appears to be - a lot of people are becoming incredibly famous by creating content (and a lot of it isn't good content) and it's easy to get sucked into the world and think that you can do the same (and better). However, it's not all that it's cracked up to be. What's missing is that need to create art - it's something that calls out to people (if you're doing it for money, turn away now as it's not as lucrative as you think). The message that you can create is more important than the riches you might one day fall into - this message gets lost far too often.