It used to be that marketers often led double lives as statisticians. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Marketing % of CAC, Time to Payback CAC, Ratio of Customer Lifetime Value to CAC… all things that used to be figured by an A+B=C model. But the rise of social media marketing, viral videos and timely tweets have little to do with traditional marketing metrics. Social media marketing metrics are less about what you want your audience to do, and more about focusing on what your audience wants. Sure, you can expect your audience to share, retweet and “like” content campaigns – but with so many touch points in the mix, its harder and harder to tie specific marketing efforts to specific metrics. As this Business Insider study points out, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media has dropped from 17% to 9%, and the percentage tracking conversion rates also dropped, from 25% to 21%.
That’s not to say you can’t put a solid measurement process in place for your social media efforts. But we as marketers should shift our focus from a “we-do-this-so-we-can-expect-that” mindset, and take a long-term view with social media and online strategies. After all, our audiences are real people, not programmed drones.