Our social media tools measure many things and I like things measured. So I suppose I should not be surprised that I find myself drawn into the social media vortex. In the technology marketing industry, measures matter, and that probably explains why we all find ourselves talking about social media often.
The ultimate measurement in our business is the top line. Our job is to generate revenue for our clients and revenue is quite measurable. Accordingly, we spend our time working to correlate activities to revenues with the goal of understanding which activities to expand and which to kill off. As potential revenue makes its way through the sales pipeline from campaign to lead to opportunity to deal to actual revenue we measure every step.
Within each step there are intermediate things to measure. The size of the market, the number of potential opportunities, the qualification of potential opportunities, the number of attempted contacts, successful contacts, conversion rates, close rates, cycle times...an endless stream of things to measure and we have not even added in the cost of each and the resulting ROI.
So why are we so attracted to the prospect of measuring more things? Why do we want to add followers, friends, links, hits and other social media measures to the mix?
Maybe it is the same reason I like to mow my lawn. For me, mowing the lawn is an individual pursuit. I do it by myself. I know when it needs to be done, I know when it is done, and I can see the result of my effort. So far, social media is a decidedly individual exercise and with the exception of a few companies that have implemented collective social media campaigns, the measurements are mostly measurements of us as individuals.
So I think we like social media because it measures us as individuals. The rest of our work is collective and the results are team results. Our efforts are hampered by a multitude of dependencies and corporate constraints. Our social media activities are refreshingly unencumbered by comparison and we can apply our creativity directly and see the results directly.