Quick Thought: Appropriate Metrics of Success With Social Media

(I don’t have time right now to fully develop these thoughts but I want to get them out there while they’re on my mind. I’m sure others have thought about this much more extensively and I would appreciate pointers to them!)

I don’t know if many of us yet know what measures of success to employ in our use of social media. It seems that many people still believe that coarse numbers – fans, followers, etc. – are good indicators of success. But it seems to me that those are preliminary or perhaps necessary-but-not-sufficient indicators. Of course, that assumes that people are actually trying to do things with social media, things other than simply collect an audience of questionable value (you don’t really believe that everyone who indicates an interest in your page, account, etc. is really interested and interested to the same degree as everyone else, do you?).

Although I don’t know what measures we should employ, I strongly suspect they have as much to do with social media as our objectives (i.e. very little). Most people aren’t using social media for its own sake but to accomplish some goals or effect change. So we know if we’re successful if we’ve accomplished those goals or created change, right? I don’t think we can determine that by counting fans, followers, or visitors.