Metrics for measuring engagement

Metrics for measuring engagement

elannert's picture

Two must read articles on social business vs. social marketing:

These articles remind me of concepts introduced in the Cluetrain Manifesto. My favorite of the 95 theses presented in the book was, “Markets are conversations, are you listenting?”. At the time, this was a major shift in how we think of marketing. The Dachis and Solis articles highlight this concept and how far we still have to go.

One of the things that we’re doing to help with this is beginning to measure social conversations in that matter, using what’s called a conversation index (see Measure What Matters.

Our conversation index looks at how many actions people take when they’re interacting with your content:

  • Do they tweet it?
  • Do they comment on it?
  • Do they like it?
  • Do they post it on LinkedIn?
  • Do they download something?
  • Did the content lead to some kind of engagement?

We take all of those answers, and then divide it by the number of people who actually visited the content. The higher the number, the more ‘engaging’ the content was for your audience.

With one of our Social Media Management clients, we looked back over the last year at all of the blogs that have been created, and we looked for patterns on which content engaged the audience more.

It was awesome to discover that the content that had been captured in a conversational format, like a discussion between two people, had almost 100% percent more engagement than content that was written like an old-school white paper.

This is liberating because it means that for those of us who don’t have time to write, we can still get our voice out by having a conversation with a customer and then turn that conversation into a blog. We’re going to actually have better results than if we beat our heads against the wall trying to write as profoundly as someone who writes for a living.

The traditional channel for engaging with existing customers is the support forum. My last blog was about This week I spent a lot of time working on it. I’ve been looking at many different vendors and types of technologies for i.c.stars recently. I posted some issues under the forum; and within minutes they were answered; and sometimes they get answered twice! I had five rounds of interaction, and it was the director of sales who was answering my questions!

It was pretty awesome. My respect for the brand went way up. I was post-sale. I already bought the service. A positive experience post-sale is one of the most powerful investment a company can make. Statistics back this up. The Lean Startup Circle group in Chicago present some pretty powerful numbers about this. Moving the needle by ONE on customer retention is equivalent to gaining 6-7 new customers..

It’s interesting that as I talk to people that are considering using social media, there is always a transformation in the discussion. Their initial motivation is to get new customer leads. Through the course of our conversation and working with us however, we begin to see that leads are the outcomes of traditional word of mouth referrals from engaging authentically with existing customers.

In that respect, will we get closer to the “Social Business” vision from Dachis and Solis by holding marketing, account management and customer service responsible for the number of word of mouth referrals in addition to traditional metrics?

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
Industry retention rate:
College attendance rate:
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
Average 12-month earnings before program:
Average 12-month earnings after program: