Originally posted on June 27, 2012
In my on-going hatred for using Likes and Comments as a measurement for success on Facebook, I came across this great post from Brian Solis. His post, A Facebook Like Does Not Equal an Opt-in, is so spot on I want to hug him.
Brian says, “Likes do not represent the actual size of a community, yet many organizations confuse the overall number with actual audience size.” He is saying you may have 10,000 Fans, but that doesn’t mean you have 10,000 people actively engaged with you and your product or even 10,000 people that even give a crap about you. “Likes represent potential reach. But businesses cannot take or assume satisfaction in these numbers as they’re reflective of the people reached and not the people who could be reached.”
He goes on saying, “Contests, campaigns, gimmicks, while effective in intermittent bursts, are not sustainable nor are they indicative of organic engagement. They generate numbers but not true engagement.” Businesses spend a ton of money on sweepstakes and contests and they say, “We got 300 Likes from this contest!” But really that means nothing. You got 300 people to signup to win the iPad you were giving away, and when they realize your page is boring or something they don’t care about, they will leave.
The problem is businesses base successful (or unsuccessful) outcomes solely on Likes, comments, Retweets and reach. Brian sees these numbers as “raw numbers.” He says, “We must first understand where we are and where we need to be. Developing strategies where cause and effect are the catalysts for performance…”
I think part of the reason businesses put so much emphasis on Likes, comments and Retweets is because it is easy. They are easy to track and easy to identify. It is much harder to identify brand resonance, brand advocacy or brand awareness, but these are the KPIs businesses NEED to identify and use as measurements. Likes and comments won’t cut it. They are just smoke and mirrors because they can hide a poor brand or product when in reality they are suffering or just terrible.
The following are Brian’s KPIs to use to demonstrate progress toward business objectives and priorities:
- Brand Lift/Awareness
- Brand Resonance
- Sentiment/Perception Shift
- Thought Leadership