Don’t Follow The Wrong Numbers


There’s no question that when it comes to Social CRM and accurately measuring the success of all your online activities some metrics are essential and some are entirely misleading.

It can be hard sometimes trying to explain this to clients whose starting point is that they want to get 100,000 fans on Facebook or 50,000 video views on YouTube, without having thought through what these numbers really mean and how valuable these “followers” are. If you get too focused on these numbers you can end up following the “stupid metrics”.

It’s relatively easy to get someone to click “like” or to watch a video, but these are fairly passive actions. If this is the extent of your strategy then you’re not really giving yourself a chance to get to know your contacts and customers, or find out how they interact with your brand and sites.

To build truly valuable relationships you need to actively engage with your contacts and aim to give them more personalised experiences.

Measurement and metrics are very important, but only as long as you track the right ones.

Let’s say you’re a successful band with a strong Facebook presence. You’re maybe not U2 (with 5 million followers), but you’re doing ok, and you’re able to sell concert tickets, t-shirts and music to your fans through your online store.

By using a Facebook Connect-enabled app to send customers through to the store it’s possible to track the actual Facebook demographic data of your fans who are interested in making purchases.

From here, you can then determine a wealth of insightful data, such as:

  • Typical spend of a follower vs a non-follower
  • Net value of affiliate sales from follower within/ to their network

This now becomes much more relevant than defining a target for video views or followers. It’s now about real ROI and understanding how to achieve ROI through the social channels.

The Facebook demographic data can also enable you to segment your audience, identify your key influencers and begin to engage with your customers in a more personalised and targeted manner.

Depending on your needs this segmentation can be quite general (such as identifying a cluster of fans in a specific geographical location in order to plan concert tours) or much more specific (such as highest-spending customers).

Let’s say you are a sports brand and through the data you are able to identify a sports fan dad who always buys the new team shirt on the day of release. You can then tailor your Facebook app to deliver different content to that user so that it becomes more personalised (in this case offering a deal on kids shirts when he buys his own – increasing transaction value).

From here it’s possible to begin to offer products and promotions to that individual that are truly relevant such as pre-order discounts or exclusive content.  If customers are truly engaged in this way it greatly improves their experience with your brand while also increasing sales, revenue and ROI.

One of the great aspects of this activity is that the implementation can be automated as it uses the data – you just need to define the data models for the audience segments.

The intention should be to try and put your customers at the center of everything you do so that you can understand them better: it truly is the Relationship Management part of Social CRM.

If you manage to do this effectively then you can own your customer relationships and generate far more sales by remaining directly relevant to their needs – and sales is a metric that is never stupid.

Photo (cc) Stephen Coles