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5 Uncommon Ways to Measure Social Media Success

by Ryan Rancatore

While engaging in social media, many focus intently on the absolute number of connections they’ve made – and assess progress based purely on the size of their network. Instead, I prefer to review social media efforts on a more granular level, making certain my actions are focused, effective, and received well by others.  Here are 5 uncommon ways to measure social success that can be calculated no matter the size of your network.

Since I only have access to my individual stats, I’ve used myself as an example for each metric below -  help me make this more interesting by providing your results in the comments section.

Twitter “Follower to List Ratio”

Inclusion within a Twitter list is maybe the purest, most sincere form of appreciation in the social media universe today. The fact that one of your followers respects your opinions enough to single you out and closely track your communication is no small gesture.

When Twitter lists first debuted, I surmised that a new metric would replace absolute follower count as the measure of a Tweeter’s worth – the “Follower to List” ratio.  To calculate your ratio, simply divide your follower count by the number of lists you appear within.  (At present, my ratio is 4,529 to 124, or, 36 to 1. What is yours?)

As Twitter lists have matured and become more prevalent, my stance hasn’t changed a bit.  A high follower count is great, but show me how many of those followers care enough to include you within a specific list.

Retweets per Page View (Blog)

New bloggers (including myself at times) tend to judge blogging success based on page views.  The more readers the better, right?  Well – maybe.  Common sense tells us that more articles on a site will equate to more total site visitors – and in turn, more visitors per new post.  How then, can a blogger truly measure the success of new articles?  One metric I calculate is “retweets per page view”.

Simply put – how many people read the article, and how many of those retweeted it?  The beauty of this metric is that it works whether your article has 12 views or 12,000.  For example, my post on 5 Personal Branding Errors You Can Fix in 5 Minutes has received 800 page views and 74 retweets (or, 1 retweet for every 10.8 page views).  Measuring this post against others, I can easily see that it resonated with my audience in a way that others did not.

Comments per Page View (Blog)

Similar to the above, this metric pits page views against unique comments for each individual blog post (not counting your own comments).  For some, building a community and increasing engagement within their blog is the number one goal – if so, this metric is likely to be a huge indicator of success.

Personally, many of my posts rate pretty poorly for this metric, something I definitely need to evaluate.  But, when I compare ratios across articles, I see that it is “thought pieces” that receive more comments per page view, up to a ratio of 1 comment per every 24 page views.

Which posts of yours rate highest for this metric?  Why?

Linkedin Profile Views

I find huge value in the little-referenced “Who’s viewed my profile?” section of a Linkedin profile page.  In this section, Linkedin identifies how many visitors have viewed your profile in the last X days, and identifies these visitors by name, title, and/or industry.

If you are looking to build a solid, reputable network, the number of outside profile views should be of major importance to you.  Essentially, this figure helps signify how much interest folks have to connect with, or learn more about you.  A low number might suggest that your profile is difficult to locate, or that you’ve failed to provide folks reason enough to seek you out.  Make sure to snag a unique URL for your Linkedin profile.

What is your number of Linkedin profile views lately?  Who exactly has viewed your profile – and why do you think they chose to do so?

Linkedin Search Results Appearances

Like the above metric, you can determine the number of times your Linkedin profile has appeared in a search via the “Who’s viewed my profile” section.  For job seekers, this number should be routinely scrutinized.  A low or declining value suggests that your Linkedin profile is lacking the keywords that recruiters are searching for – not good!  The power of keywords in your social media profiles can make the difference between getting found and getting ignored.

Reconfigure your profile to include relevant keywords, and keep an eye on your number of search appearances.  See any difference?

The 5 social media success metrics above are not often quoted, yet I think there is value in each one.  How did you fare for each of the metrics?  Find any gaping holes in your social media presence or strategy – or any huge victories you hadn’t previously identified?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Tape measure by Darren Hester Comment Love by miss miah.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa February 17, 2010 at 11:27 am

Makes plenty of sense – thanks for the tips!

heathercoleman February 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Absolutely fantastic, Ryan. I am sharing this on my Career Savvy FB site and tweeting it out to the twitterverse. All career seekers and those dedicated to enhancing their careers need to read this blog.

Keep up the great work!
@HeatherEColeman

maryhruth February 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Wow, this is a really fabulous post! Distinctive info, well presented, and evidencing a brilliant analytical mind. Congratulations, Ryan, and thanks for the insights!

twitter.com/d_elms February 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm

33:1 Follower to list today!

twitter.com/d_elms February 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

33:1 Follower to list today!

twitter.com/d_elms

Ryan Rancatore February 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Thanks Heather! I just became a fan of your Career Savvy fan page, great to connect with you all across the web.

Ryan Rancatore February 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Mary, I'm humbled by your comment! Allow me to relay these words to my wife the next time I do something idiotic around the house. :-)

Ryan Rancatore February 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Nice – You've got me beat…but I'm coming for ya! Thanks for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

Lynn Hector February 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Thanks for this great post! This makes the scary client question of “how exactly can you measure social media success?” less scary! While PR people would like to think that “opening channels of communication and building dialogue” is enough of an answer, the different metrics you present here are great measurement tools and ones I had not really thought of.

Ryan Rancatore February 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Lynn. I tend to look at these things from an
individual's perspective, but you're right…the same principles could
loosely apply to a business as well. Hope the PR biz is treating you well!

Lynn Hector February 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Thanks for this great post! This makes the scary client question of “how exactly can you measure social media success?” less scary! While PR people would like to think that “opening channels of communication and building dialogue” is enough of an answer, the different metrics you present here are great measurement tools and ones I had not really thought of.

Ryan Rancatore February 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Lynn. I tend to look at these things from an
individual's perspective, but you're right…the same principles could
loosely apply to a business as well. Hope the PR biz is treating you well!

Markhenrry5 March 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

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Omar Uddin May 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I definitely agree with the Linkedin stats — the premium features are also worth it.

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