I have a great deal of respect for social media pariahs. In a world filled with "gurus" and "ninjas," these are the people that say, "Your 'likes' are stupid."
Now, I (and, I'm sure, these people as well) recognize that social media isn't completely useless. In fact, social media can play a major role in consumer engagement, as well as customer service. If done correctly, social media can be a major marketing tool.
The problem is when we get stuck on the superficial statistics -- likes, follows, retweets, comments… You know…the stuff that's easy to talk about.
What nobody wants to talk about are the conversions after the 'like' or follow. After all, it is in the conversion where you can really measure the effectiveness of your social media. Sure, there are a lot of intangibles when it comes to social media, but that's true of all marketing channels or mediums. But, even with social media, you develop very effective measurements of ROI.
And, if you're converting to sales/donations, it's a good place to start.
Otherwise, what's the point? Really. So what?
Tom Belford, an editor at the non-profit marketing newsletter The Agitator, has a great article on the topic. And, in the comment section, he leaves this golden nugget in response to a reader who was questioning the post:
"Yes, I like that extra traffic to our site. But what’s it worth? Do we still have crap conversion? Show me what these 24,000 new fans have done for our cause in 3 or 6 months and maybe I’ll be a happy camper."
Ah…there it is. Traffic (or, likes, follows, etc.) is another meaningless stat when looked at alone. A site with 1,000 visitors a day that converts at 10% is just as effective as a site with 10,000 visitors a day that converts at 1%.So, what is more important? Traffic, or conversions?
So, while you may have 25,000 likes on your Facebook page, I'm not going to be impressed until you show me what you've done with them.