Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…

Who’s the fairest of them all….?  That’s really the question some PR professionals are asking about their social media efforts.  And like the evil queen in Snow White, there’s only one acceptable answer. “Me.”

So they count their followScreen Shot 2015-09-15 at 3.26.42 PMers or fans or the reach of their own posts.  They compare their own posts for their own brands side by side and declare the one with the highest awareness to be the “fairest of them all.”   In essence, they are looking at themselves in the mirror and asking, “Am I pretty?”

Engagement has a similar flavor.  While it’s useful to know what elements of social media activity engage the followers or fans that are already there, it’s the equivalent of asking, “Am I popular?” 

Let’s call them what they are: vanity metrics.

I’m not suggesting you give that up.  But it’s not enough.  You do have to measure what works from your own efforts.  Test and learn.  Strategize.  Innovate.  This is the data that allows you to compare your media efforts to other marketing efforts in advanced analytics.  That’s good science and you do want to see what gets you both strong impressions and strong engagement.

But, that’s only one third of what you should be measuring. Continue reading