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Why Follower Count is Bullshit

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It’s impossible to communicate the value of social media efforts when you’re using a metric like follower count. It’s easy to measure, but it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to put in the work to measure the right things so that you can determine whether your efforts are actually making a difference.

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Why Follower Count is Bullshit

  1. 1. bullshit Why follower count is @MACKFOGELSON and a whole lot of reasons why you should be 
 measuring social media success differently. Ω Ω
  2. 2. For the last two years I’ve been building a following on Twitter. @MACKFOGELSON alright
  3. 3. That’s a total of
 24 months 104 weeks 728 days 17,472 hours not including leap year. @MACKFOGELSON
  4. 4. It has not been easy. @MACKFOGELSON
  5. 5. Allow me to share a few of
 the things I’ve been doing.! This is just some of the stuff that has 
 helped me to build an audience. @MACKFOGELSON
  6. 6. @MACKFOGELSON I wrote 14 blog posts on .
  7. 7. @MACKFOGELSON At 3,500 words per post, 
 that’s like an encyclopedia.
 (Remember those?) !
  8. 8. P.S. has one of the largest and most respected search marketing communities in the world. ! Millions of people visit their blog each month. @MACKFOGELSON
  9. 9. @MACKFOGELSON I wrote 25 blog posts on the Mack Web blog .
  10. 10. @MACKFOGELSON I also wrote 5 more posts on other respected blogs.
 (I know. I get around.) !
  11. 11. There’s more than the writing of 
 the blog posts. @MACKFOGELSON hang on
  12. 12. @MACKFOGELSON I read, curated, and shared more than 3,000 posts.
 (On social media that is.) !
  13. 13. I attended 7 conferences. I spoke at 5 of them. That’s one solid week of work 
 per conference once you’ve researched, 
 written, slide-decked, and practiced your talk. @MACKFOGELSON
  14. 14. @MACKFOGELSON Plus all of the live-tweeting and in person stuff, too.
 (The online really doesn’t work without the offline.) !
  15. 15. @MACKFOGELSON We also did some other stuff as a company.
 (We wrote a book on community building. There’s llamas in there.) !
  16. 16. After doing all of that work, 
 guess how many followers I earned? @MACKFOGELSON
  17. 17. @MACKFOGELSON 1582,
  18. 18. That’s right.
 All of that work and I only earned 2,851 followers. (sigh) ! @MACKFOGELSON
  19. 19. Thing is, if I used follower count to calculate the ROI 
 of all my efforts over 
 the last two years,!! I’d consider myself a failure. @MACKFOGELSON
  20. 20. @MACKFOGELSON And I’d probably be living in a van down by the river.
 (With Chris Farley, RIP.) !
  21. 21. @MACKFOGELSON But what my follower count doesn’t tell you over there is that there’s been all kinds of crazy success going on over here.
  22. 22. @MACKFOGELSON Each year for the last two years, Mack Web has experienced 40% revenue growth
  23. 23. The traffic to our
 website has increased by more than 1,300% @MACKFOGELSON
  24. 24. @MACKFOGELSON We are starting to become recognized as industry leaders.
 (It’s quite flattering.) !
  25. 25. @MACKFOGELSON This recognition has awarded me speaking opportunities.
 (All over the world.) !
  26. 26. @MACKFOGELSON This exposure sends more than enough leads to our company.
 (Makes us feel like we’re kind of a big deal.) !
  27. 27. @MACKFOGELSON Most valuable to me are all of the friends and mentors who have helped me to grow the business and stay reasonably sane.
  28. 28. The sad thing is
 that you can’t tell any of this stuff if you’re only looking at follower count. So quit doing that. @MACKFOGELSON
  29. 29. You can still have numbers. They’re just different ones.!! What I want you to hear is, there’s a better way to gauge your success on social media. @MACKFOGELSON
  30. 30. to measure the right things. @MACKFOGELSON work
  31. 31. Follower count is easy to measure,
 but it doesn't mean anything. @MACKFOGELSON
  32. 32. @MACKFOGELSON There are 3 metrics that you should be measuring by now.
 (But in case you missed the memo…) !
  33. 33. Conversation @MACKFOGELSON Amplification Applause 1 2 3
  34. 34. @MACKFOGELSON Conversation communicates that you’re human.
 (And that people want to talk to you.) !
  35. 35. @MACKFOGELSON Amplification communicates that you’re interesting.
 (And that people want to share you with their friends.) !
  36. 36. @MACKFOGELSON Applause communicates 
 that you’re likable.
 (And people either like you or they don’t.) !
  37. 37. You can calculate all of this stuff using TrueSocialMetrics or Sprout Social. @MACKFOGELSON
  38. 38. You can also calculate true engagement
 based on your community size. Read this. 
 (http://bit.ly/true-engagement) ! @MACKFOGELSON
  39. 39. will help you determine
 whether you’re actually making a difference. @MACKFOGELSON engagement
  40. 40. Rather than just measuring 
 how many followers you’re adding. @MACKFOGELSON
  41. 41. But if you want to experience real growth on social media, 
 it can’t operate in a silo.!! It takes more than social to build an audience. @MACKFOGELSON
  42. 42. You also need to
 embrace integrated marketing and employ channels other than social. Social likes help. @MACKFOGELSON
  43. 43. @MACKFOGELSON Channels like: Content Email Search Offline (and stuff)
  44. 44. @MACKFOGELSON That way you can measure how both social media and other channels are working together to help you accomplish the goals for your whole business.
  45. 45. And then you can measure all kinds of stuff that goes way beyond follower count. @MACKFOGELSON
  46. 46. Like… @MACKFOGELSON
  47. 47. @MACKFOGELSON Once they get to your website 
 are they downloading stuff?
 (Make sure you’re properly setting up goals in Google Analytics.) !
  48. 48. @MACKFOGELSON Are they signing up for your email marketing?
 (Measure your increase in subscriptions.) !
  49. 49. @MACKFOGELSON Are they staying longer and coming back?
 (Track bounce rate, time on page, page depth and return visits.) !
  50. 50. @MACKFOGELSON Are they remembering 
 your brand?
 (Pay attention to increase in branded traffic and mentions.) !
  51. 51. @MACKFOGELSON Are unexpected opportunities
 coming your way?
 (Like speaking and blogging gigs that bring exposure.) !
  52. 52. You’ve got to measure all of it. @MACKFOGELSON
  53. 53. Because the thing is… @MACKFOGELSON
  54. 54. Social media
 may not be the perfect match for things like direct conversions if you’re a B2B company. @MACKFOGELSON
  55. 55. But it may be the perfect match for supporting and increasing micro conversions.! Like email signups, downloads, lead forms, 
 and other things (like reading your blog) that you really want people to do on your site. @MACKFOGELSON
  56. 56. All of these things lead to business growth. @MACKFOGELSON
  57. 57. (We’re living proof.) @MACKFOGELSON
  58. 58. But none of these things can be measured using follower count. @MACKFOGELSON
  59. 59. So remember, kids… @MACKFOGELSON
  60. 60. @MACKFOGELSON Real growth on social media will take some time.
 (I started two years ago.) !
  61. 61. @MACKFOGELSON Measure social in context with other integrated efforts.
 (It’s fun. You’ll like it.) !
  62. 62. @MACKFOGELSON And don’t equate success with follower count.
 (You’ll be better for it.) !
  63. 63. That’s all I have to say about that. @MACKFOGELSON
  64. 64. @MACKFOGELSON read the Mack Web blog http://mackwebsolutions.com/blog ! download our community building guide http://bit.ly/community-building-guide ! connect with us http://mackwebsolutions.com/connect
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It’s impossible to communicate the value of social media efforts when you’re using a metric like follower count. It’s easy to measure, but it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to put in the work to measure the right things so that you can determine whether your efforts are actually making a difference.


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