One of the biggest mistakes companies make online is to not knowing how they’re actually going to measure their success.

Think about how crazy that is for a moment. It would be like entering a race without there being a finishing line was, or trying to play football without knowing where the goal was. So like Arsenal, basically. I actually know nothing about football but I read an article this morning and thought I’d jump on the band wagon.

Anyway, the point is that it’s completely nuts. There is no point having a social media presence or an email list or even a website, unless you know exactly what metrics you’re trying to drive.

For this I always encourage people to separate their metrics into three:
– Those that extend their brand reach – number of likes, shares, etc
– Those that nurture relationsips – repeat visits to the website, average page views, downloads, etc
– Those that drive sales – that can be online enquiries or ecommerce sales or even offline sales if you have a way of tracking them. Not just in terms of the number of new customers,but also the average order value and the number of repeat purchases.

For most businesses, it’s really only the latter that counts. Don’t get me wrong, brand is important. Brand is everything. But only when it’s actually driving consumer behaviour. If within 6 months the ffirst two aren’t driving the latter, then that’s what we call a vanity metric. Bullshit basically. Irrelevant. It look impressive – which in itself can be important, particularly for a new brand – but ultimately you can’t cash it in at the bank. Social media fans can often fall into this category if you’re not careful.

So be clear on your metrics. And by all means begin by tracking lots of different things, but just keep in mind that in the long term most of its just noise.

See you next time.