Just read: ’10 Social Media Metrics’ at SocialTimes.com

Content strategy is only truly effective for your business when metrics are used. (Otherwise, you’re just being active without necessarily being effective).

Do you use metrics in your social media? It’s not easy because social media tends to be difficult to measure and difficult to apply to our sales funnel. I talked about the need to measure audience before you measure leads in a recent blog. While social media isn’t the only source for an audience, it’s a pretty important one. But how do you measure it?

Raj Dash posted 10 metrics you can use to measure how your audience interacts with your business and how people are moving along the sales funnel towards becoming a customer.

The 10 Social Media Metrics Your Company Should Monitor.

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Measuring leads is insufficient: We need a new sales funnel category

I’m putting together a series for March and I’ll be talking about a couple of points including leads and lead generation. But in preparing for this series, I’ve been deep in thought about what we define as leads and how we measure them.

Leads are usually anyone in within our target market who has risen above the rest as an ideal person to strike up a conversation with about our product or service. Perhaps you have their name or address or phone number or email address — those are common elements that define a lead. (From there, once you start the conversation and learn more about them, they turn into prospects). As illustrated below…

But I don’t think the definition of “lead” is sufficient. It might have been years ago when sales people would capture some kind of information (or buy it in a list) and contact that person. But with the ubiquity of free information and interaction (including newsletters and ezines, Twitter, fan pages, etc.), I’m not so sure that Facebook fans or Twitter followers qualify as leads.

TODAY’S LEADS AREN’T ALL LEADS
The internet didn’t just cause our lead generation rate to jump overnight. People who follow us on Twitter might fit our definition of lead as it was a few years ago but they don’t necessarily now. And yet, we should still interact with them because they have indicated that they want to hear from us and because they may not be our target market but they might know someone who is. Free content and social media have both helped to redefine what “lead” means.

So, in our sales planning, budgeting, and metrics, we should add another category to the sales funnel: Audience…

Your audience has given you some kind of indication that they want to hear from you (usually an email address or they’ve followed or fanned you). But they are still far from being called leads. They’re listeners. They’re participants. They’re your audience.

HERE’S WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
If you’re measuring you Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and free ezine subscribers as leads, stop. Create a new category in your sales funnel called “audience” and put them there, instead. Figure out what it is that will propel someone to move from “audience” to “lead”. Is it more information? Is it a phone call? If you think of your audience as an unsorted mass culled from your target market then your leads should be a sorted, strained version of that group. So the evolution of an audience member to a lead should be some kind of indicator that they are ready to be sorted.

In some cases, it could be another ezine — a very specific ezine, for example — for just a select few who are willing to give more information or even to pay a small fee. Or perhaps it happens when someone fans you, follows you, subscribes to your newsletter, and becomes an active blog commenter. There are probably other indicators as well, I’ve only started to think about this. You’ll likely hear more from me on this in the future.

Aaron’s Answers: Marketing a subscription only site

The Question:

aaronhoos_socialmedia_linkedinNjore J.  KARANJA asked:

I am in the process of creating a subscription-only website. How do I go about marketing it for subscribers, and what is the best payment method?

Aaron’s Answer:

I can’t answer the payment methods but I can help you on the marketing side. Without knowing very much about your site, I’d suggest these general ideas:

1. GENERATING TRAFFIC
* Depending on what your topic is, you might find Google AdWords or Facebook ads to be helpful. Just make sure they are highly targeted.

* I’m still seeing article marketing as a positive way to create traffic… provided that your articles are compelling and high value.

* Start an account on Twitter and use Twellow to help you target people to follow.

2. GETTING SUBSCRIPTIONS
* Build some value on the outside of the subscription gateway so that people can see that you do add value. Offer more (most) of the value on the inside of the subscription gateway.

* Create a free, downloadable report discussing the benefits people can have through the use of your subscription site.

Good luck!

-Aaron Hoos
http://aaronhoos.com

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