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Things to avoid when engaging in social media

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Every week, I look forward to participating in the social media measurement chat every Thursday and interacting with a community eagerly willing to share best tips and practices. Last week’s chat on measuring word of mouth campaigns was informative with plenty of actionable insights. This week’s chat focused on what not to do when participating in social media. A big thanks to my co-host, Sysomos’ Community Manager, Sheldon Levine @sysomos.

#smmeasure chat #14 recap

We all hear about what we should be doing with social media, but what about what we shouldn’t be doing or measuring? If you have any follow-up questions, tweet @smmeasure (without the #smmeasure hashtag). Take a look at the full #smmeasure chat transcript.

Q1: Plenty of talk about which KPIs/metrics are valuable in measuring social media success, but which ones to avoid? Why? Via @erkramer

  • @40deuce: “I think too many people get caught up in growing follower numbers, while they’re important, they’re not everything”
  • @buona_vita: “I think all those sites that give you twitter stats are cool and fun, but nothing to seriously watch”
  • @mhandy1: “Pageviews for blogs… I look at engagement!”
  • @jgombita: “I think another potentially bad metric is focusing on the number of RTs/Likes, rather than the people doing it.”
  • @marketwire: “Quality trumps quantity. However, it was @guykawasaki that said, high # of followers makes SM more interesting.”
  • @geoffsnack: “U get far more insight into a user’s reach, influence etc by spending 5 mins on their feed, rather than using klout”
  • @jasonarican: “I just want to say any metric that isn’t fully explored. Share of voice for ex. What contributed to numbers?”
  • @iamChuckHarris: “Other metrics I look at is site traffics. A lot of traffic only means so much if there is little conversation.” “Especially sentiment. It either has to be manually rated or looked at over time. Not very accurate as a snapshot”
  • @sabrinascott: “eNewsletters – the number of people who opened the email, when you really want to know how many actually made it to your page.”
  • @JPedde: “I love Klout, but it only really measures Twitter. FB doesn’t matter much to me. I wish it graded LinkedIn & other platforms”

Q2: What are some measurement mistakes you’ve made or seen others make?

  • @Fancy_Lad: “Measuring metrics that don’t equate to goals of the marketing plan. If you’re on SM to sell X, measure its effect on X.”
  • @unhabit: “limiting sm measurement to sm channels and not other channels like search”
  • @mhandy1: “I have seen people try to find the dollar sign in Metrics… that is a lagging indicator on SM” “take that 1 step further… if you don’t have an objective why do you even bother measuring”
  • @erkramer: “Focusing ONLY on Twitter/FB, reaching for meaning w/ very limited data, relying too heavy on sentiment analysis”

Q3: What can we do to stop these mistakes and bad metrics?

  • @nigellegg: “Correlating SM measurements with google analytics and ecommerce sales really important.” “Also important to do a qualitative analysis of what people are saying – tone, content, etc, not just keyword counts”
  • @jasonarican: “First realize that it’s hard to do what we preach. So it starts with following through on our part”
  • @theelusivefish: “Communicate. Educate. We have the knowledge of why it’s a mistake. We need to share + spread + champion.” “One of my first questions, ‘OK – so what are we trying to accomplish here?’”
  • @erkramer: “Create your OWN metrics & KPIs for your specific business, learn from mistakes, leverage innovative monitoring tools
  • @HenriettaSung: “Measurement should link back to the goal/objective. Focus on metrics that will prove ur goal/objective is achieved”
  • @Fancy_Lad: “Learn from the best and educate our clients on best practices. No one wants poor results.”
  • @mhandy1: “Competitive analysis is huge for me…”
  • @digitalmention: “It starts from above. Make sure that those at the top understand metrics.”

Q4: What are the risks of social media use?

  • @Fancy_Lad: “Lack of focus. Social media is a big ol’ pond, its easy to get lost among the flotsam and jetsam. Measure what matters!”
  • @JPedde: “Destruction of brand, customer service issues”
  • @mhandy1: “Not tracking your brand which has significant costs ie not helping customers”
  • @unhabit: “biggest risks of sm? not using it, not understanding it, not committing to it”
  • @BPMacKenzie: “Biggest risk? Jumping in without a plan, policy or procedure to follow.”
  • @digitalmention: “Hiring an Intern expert because you are too cheap to hire real staff!”
  • @theelusivefish: “The risk of SM use is the same risk you take any time you communicate. Being misunderstood, comm poorly, receiving crit. only..”
  • @djwald: “Saying the wrong thing. Not having solid plan/strategy/content. Not having the right people manage it.”
  • @marketwire: “biggest risk of social media use is going in without a strategy that everyone in the company understands.”
  • @erkramer: “One small misstep has the potential to amplify into a viral wave of global negativity, but biggest risk: NOT listening”
  • @HenriettaSung: “Spending too much time, investing too much $$ and not seeing value or favourable results”
  • @geoffsnack: “relying on social media to work on it’s own w.out other elements (real life interaction, strong web presence, strong copy etc)”

Bonus Q: “I’m a social media expert because…” — Big ups to @djwald for asking the question.

  • @djwald: “I’m, like, such an expert b/c I’m on SM all the time!” “I do nothing BUT hang on SM all day. I’m a SM expert.”
  • @erkramer: “I read Mashable, so naturally I’m a SM expert”
  • @JPedde: “I’m an early adopter for every SM platform out there. I’m an SM expert” “Ooo do we think that Hallmark will declare, in addition to Administrative Assistant’s Day, a ‘Social Media Guru’ day?”
  • @40deuce: “I have over 500 facebook friends. I’m a SM expert”
  • @nigellegg: “I’m a social media expert – my client introduced me as that the other day, so it must be true”
  • @digitalmention: “I RT everything everyone says, so I’m a SM expert.”
  • @marketwire: “I’m a SM expert because I use the words: Engage. Authenticity. Conversation every 5 seconds.” “I’m a SM expert because my Klout score is a gazillion, which means I’m simply better than you”
  • @EbA: “I’m actually an S&M expert but somebody made a typo”

Tip of the chat from @mhandy1 – “I don’t think every brand should use SM… it’s better to have no presence than a lame one”

Check back here every Friday for chat recaps and transcripts. Join the Marketwire Facebook page to get #smmeasure weekly topics. If you have any questions for the community, tweet @smmeasure or @marketwire or send me an email nshin[at]

You can also join the #smmeasure LinkedIn Group to connect with others interested in social media and measurement. See you next week at 9:00 am PST, 11:00 am CST, 12:00 pm EST, 5:00 pm if you’re in London, and 3:00 am Friday if you’re in Melbourne.

For those that enjoy Halloween, have fun and be safe. See you next Thursday.

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