Do you trust social metrics? Are you using social media professionally for business, is it more of a hobby, or are you just a casual observer?
When you posted the picture of your pet, did you get a lot of likes?
What about when you posted your angry customer service story, posted a political position, or a picture of your feet in the sand at the beach?
News media is famous for drama filled headlines. Readership or clickership (not a real word), often seems like the highest priority. Who is getting the most traction and how can the story be shaped to fit a popular narrative?
What are advertisers seeking and how are market segments being defined?
These questions and many more surround the analysis or value of social metrics.
Are they valuable?
Social metrics claim to measure interest. They claim to gauge the likelihood of future interactions and often seem valuable to those seeking more clicks.
Does more clicks or views really matter?
There are at least to sides to the story. The first side would suggest that, yes, they absolutely matter. More viewership or readership is exactly what the social media user desires.
When the numbers are larger, advertisers and other potential stakeholders develop more interest too. There is little measurement about how scattered or how likely the same users will click or follow a similar thread.
The other side to the story is that the content creators are really skilled at one thing. They are skilled at getting more clicks.
That doesn’t mean that the clicks are meaningful or add any kind of value, often they are simply an illustration of a click.
In most circles, the value of social metrics remains questionable.
Unless your only concern is making them increase.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.