Why Follower Count is Bullshit

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Its impossible to communicate the value of social media efforts when youre using a metric like follower count. Its easy to measure, but it doesnt mean anything. Youve got to put in the work to measure the right things so that you can determine whether your efforts are actually making a difference.

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  • bullshit Why follower count is @MACKFOGELSON and a whole lot of reasons why you should be measuring social media success differently.
  • For the last two years Ive been building a following on Twitter. @MACKFOGELSON alright
  • Thats a total of 24 months 104 weeks 728 days 17,472 hours not including leap year. @MACKFOGELSON
  • It has not been easy. @MACKFOGELSON
  • Allow me to share a few of the things Ive been doing.! This is just some of the stuff that has helped me to build an audience. @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON I wrote 14 blog posts on .
  • @MACKFOGELSON At 3,500 words per post, thats like an encyclopedia. (Remember those?) !
  • P.S. has one of the largest and most respected search marketing communities in the world. ! Millions of people visit their blog each month. @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON I wrote 25 blog posts on the Mack Web blog .
  • @MACKFOGELSON I also wrote 5 more posts on other respected blogs. (I know. I get around.) !
  • Theres more than the writing of the blog posts. @MACKFOGELSON hang on
  • @MACKFOGELSON I read, curated, and shared more than 3,000 posts. (On social media that is.) !
  • I attended 7 conferences. I spoke at 5 of them. Thats one solid week of work per conference once youve researched, written, slide-decked, and practiced your talk. @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON Plus all of the live-tweeting and in person stuff, too. (The online really doesnt work without the ofine.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON We also did some other stuff as a company. (We wrote a book on community building. Theres llamas in there.) !
  • After doing all of that work, guess how many followers I earned? @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON 1582,
  • Thats right. All of that work and I only earned 2,851 followers. (sigh) ! @MACKFOGELSON
  • Thing is, if I used follower count to calculate the ROI of all my efforts over the last two years,!! Id consider myself a failure. @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON And Id probably be living in a van down by the river. (With Chris Farley, RIP.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON But what my follower count doesnt tell you over there is that theres been all kinds of crazy success going on over here.
  • @MACKFOGELSON Each year for the last two years, Mack Web has experienced 40% revenue growth
  • The trafc to our website has increased by more than 1,300% @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON We are starting to become recognized as industry leaders. (Its quite attering.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON This recognition has awarded me speaking opportunities. (All over the world.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON This exposure sends more than enough leads to our company. (Makes us feel like were kind of a big deal.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Most valuable to me are all of the friends and mentors who have helped me to grow the business and stay reasonably sane.
  • The sad thing is that you cant tell any of this stuff if youre only looking at follower count. So quit doing that. @MACKFOGELSON
  • You can still have numbers. Theyre just different ones.!! What I want you to hear is, theres a better way to gauge your success on social media. @MACKFOGELSON
  • to measure the right things. @MACKFOGELSON work
  • Follower count is easy to measure, but it doesn't mean anything. @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON There are 3 metrics that you should be measuring by now. (But in case you missed the memo) !
  • Conversation @MACKFOGELSON Amplication Applause 1 2 3
  • @MACKFOGELSON Conversation communicates that youre human. (And that people want to talk to you.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Amplication communicates that youre interesting. (And that people want to share you with their friends.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Applause communicates that youre likable. (And people either like you or they dont.) !
  • You can calculate all of this stuff using TrueSocialMetrics or Sprout Social. @MACKFOGELSON
  • You can also calculate true engagement based on your community size. Read this. (http://bit.ly/true-engagement) ! @MACKFOGELSON
  • will help you determine whether youre actually making a difference. @MACKFOGELSON engagement
  • Rather than just measuring how many followers youre adding. @MACKFOGELSON
  • But if you want to experience real growth on social media, it cant operate in a silo.!! It takes more than social to build an audience. @MACKFOGELSON
  • You also need to embrace integrated marketing and employ channels other than social. Social likes help. @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON Channels like: Content Email Search Offline (and stuff)
  • @MACKFOGELSON That way you can measure how both social media and other channels are working together to help you accomplish the goals for your whole business.
  • And then you can measure all kinds of stuff that goes way beyond follower count. @MACKFOGELSON
  • Like @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON Once they get to your website are they downloading stuff? (Make sure youre properly setting up goals in Google Analytics.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Are they signing up for your email marketing? (Measure your increase in subscriptions.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Are they staying longer and coming back? (Track bounce rate, time on page, page depth and return visits.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Are they remembering your brand? (Pay attention to increase in branded trafc and mentions.) !
  • @MACKFOGELSON Are unexpected opportunities coming your way? (Like speaking and blogging gigs that bring exposure.) !
  • Youve got to measure all of it. @MACKFOGELSON
  • Because the thing is @MACKFOGELSON
  • Social media may not be the perfect match for things like direct conversions if youre a B2B company. @MACKFOGELSON
  • But it may be the perfect match for supporting and increasing micro conversions.! Like email signups, downloads, lead forms, and other things (like reading your blog) that you really want people to do on your site. @MACKFOGELSON
  • All of these things lead to business growth. @MACKFOGELSON
  • (Were living proof.) @MACKFOGELSON
  • But none of these things can be measured using follower count. @MACKFOGELSON
  • So remember, kids @MACKFOGELSON
  • @MACKFOGELSON Real growth on social media will take some time. (I started two