Why the boss thinks 125,000 monthly pageviews mean failure

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2011/01/27 · 18 comments 8,563 views

in a analysis: gaining insights

The My.ComMetrics 2011 trend briefing series, consisting of 25 blog posts and 7 webinars about trends to watch and social media monitoring DOs and DON’Ts, has addressed some of the pitfalls we need to watch out for in 2011, including:

Some people admit that their “…Google Reader is jam-packed with hundreds of subscriptions and hundreds or thousands of unread items.”
Things happen fast so make sure you catch the right train - the InterCityExpress 3 runs between Amsterdam and Zurich and a modified version called Velaro E runs between Barcelona and Madrid at speeds of up to 350 km/h.

Ending up in those people’s inbox or RSS readers might get you a click, but not their attention. This could explain why 125,000 monthly pageviews do not make the cut with your boss.

Sign up with your email to get our next post first; you’ll be glad you did.

We all know the 90-9-1 rule, which states that ninety people read original content, nine people share it and one person actually creates it.

Some time back we suggested the 900-98-1.5-0.5 rule: 900 out of every 1000 people never see information sent to them, ninety-eight people read it, one-and-a-half people share it and less than one person writes original content.

Fact: Just because you share does not mean people listen or take the time to read it (e.g., blog post, eBook, FAQ, etc.). Research by Dan Zarrella shows one daily status update on your company’s Facebook page may be most effective.

Tip: Sharing (clicking Like on Facebook or tweeting about a blog post) is the exception and a person contributing a comment to a blog entry is a rare gem. Most importantly, every such engagement helps strengthen your brand and increases readers’ trust in your content.

Also, context may limit applicability of some social media research to your company’s strategy in this domain:

    2. Limit your opportunity costs

Image - Showing top management how social media relates to improving strategic operational metrics (hands-on approach) and key drivers - ROI.Applications come and go. A few years back FriendFeed was the talk of the town. Now the social media pundits have moved on and claim that we must use Quora to ride the wave.

Whatever you decide, figure out if you could be doing something other than answering questions on Quora to get a bigger bang for your buck.

Tip: Figure out what costs may be incurred by spending a lot of time on social media instead of visiting a client or giving a talk at an industry event.

Social media use is great, but you need to find the balance you can afford while still getting your ‘real’ job done effectively.

    3. Give everything away for free

Most transactions have a downside. However, receiving something for free has little downside and artificially inflates the item’s value.

Finally, while free is attractive it does not pay the rent at the end of the month.

Tip: The allure of free is attractive because humans are intrinsically afraid of loss, so giving away free eBooks or product samples is the first step in your marketing funnel and getting customer on board with ‘free to use, but pay to play‘.

    Bottom line and take-aways

Getting 125,000 pageviews a month is certainly something to be proud of. Still, unless there is a link between pageviews and some key drivers/operating metrics, such as helping reduce calls to your client hotline or getting more leads that ultimately mean more sales, why should top management care?

While engagement is important, the 900-98-1.5-0.5 rule has taught us that eliciting replies or comments that add insight is not easy. But we should not get hung up on metrics like how many comments we get per blog post. Instead, their depth might be more important. Also, focusing on linking social media activities that build reputation and brand to critical operational metrics such as improving customer satisfaction is most effective for getting top management on the bandwagon.

If you like this post, please share it with your friends. How about asking them to comment after reading, I love to hear what people think!

Are you with me on these critical issues regarding actionable metrics and relating them to key drivers? Where do YOU see this going? Please leave a comment; the floor is yours!

And remember, rules of thumb beat golden rules every time

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  • CyTRAP

    Why 125,000 pageviews on your corporate blog will not impress your boss http://su.pr/1B1CKA #roi #smmeasure

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  • http://twitter.com/Faryna Stan Faryna

    The search for meaningful metrics from actions (clicks, likes, number of comments, etc) where record, report and recommendation can be fully automated… is, more often than not, a bogus journey to hell. And in the hand basket with Bill and Ted. The road to hell, of course, is paved with the best of intentions. nnWe yearn for artificial intelligence – which may, in fact, be as unavailable to us today as travel at warp speed. Or even time travel.nnHowever, even the Doctor’s Tartus (YES! It’s a Dr. Who reference) required a more than human operator that understood some of the fine nuances of the machine, the universe and the course of human history. And even still, that was only a guarantee that you’d get where you need to be – as opposed to where you wanted to go.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      “The search for meaningful metrics from actions (clicks, likes, number of comments, etc.) … is more often than not, a bogus.” nn@Faryna, thanks so much for your comment. nnI probably agree that most metrics that we can grab easily (low hanging fruit) we do grab. Unfortunately, they may tell us far less than we hoped for.nnFor instance, just looking at the numbers can give us the wrong impression about a situation. I used a url shortener to tweet about this post. The clicks I got on one tweet were a bit higher than what Google Analytics reported. Of course the number of vistiors was even higher considering how many more people tweeted about this post like yourself.nnAccordingly, if people do not allow for cookies from Google Analytics, their visit is unlikely to register. Moreover, what happens when 1,000 users visit the website from one IP address (e.g., big corporate client has one internet gateway everybody has to go through at headquarters) we all know…nnHence, we have to find more meaningful measures that link our web analytics work with the strategic objectives including operational measures that matter to top management. nnPut differently, we should not focus on cost savings. While these are nice we want to focus on revenu growth. Hence, if social media can help grow revenue, management is interested. In turn, we need to show how social media influences key drivers (e.g., help in reducing customer returns) that do affect revenue growth and profitability or ROI.nnStan, thanks so much for sharing.nnnnnn

      • http://twitter.com/Faryna Stan Faryna

        Agreed, short-term cost savings are a fool’s errand. The best bet on long-term revenue growth is the human operator(s) in your social media team. Take 12 wild-eyed, naive, recent college grads with a strong liberal arts education (emphasis on the great books) and you can make all kinds of numbers happen. Dance – even.

        • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

          I agree with you regarding taking the 12 wild-eyed college graduates.nn@Faryna I think you still need to give them the metrics and tell them for what they should look for to make sure the data they collect can then be used for strategic purposes.nnI still would like to see if you can set up a measure (as we have done) for a restaurant to see how its Twitter account can help to shift regulars to either coming early or late for the lunch service. In turn, waiting time is being decreased for everybody and quality of service (e.g., you get food quicker and warm) improved markedly as noted by customers.nnOf course, if you are a tool and die maker that measure will not fly and you have to find another one that fits your needs best.nn@Faryna thanks for sharing.

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