The Case for Social Media Metrics

Traci Browne is a trade show and conference consultant and author of The Social Trade Show: Leveraging Social Media and Virtual Events To Connect With Your Customer. Browne will speak Tuesday at Expo’s Social Media Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on the subject of “Social Media Metrics That Matter Most to You.”

She spoke to Expo about what to measure—and what not to.

Expo: You have used the term ‘vanity’ metrics. What do you mean?

Tracy Browne: Vanity metrics, such as how many followers you have, how many likes you have or how many times a post was retweeted, aren’t useful. Did you get likes and shares because you posted on a Monday or because it was a video? It’s by keeping track of posts and details over time that you can get to the meat of what’s happening and understand how you can duplicate your successes.

Expo: How can a show organizer or marketer do that?

Browne: There are a lot of social media measurement tools, such as Salesforce’s Radian6, but most of them cost money. One problem with many associations and organizations that run events is that their boards and executive teams are not willing to invest in these tools.

If that’s the case, I suggest people start small with an inexpensive or free tool, such as HootSuite, and analyze one thing, such as how your event hashtag was used on Twitter. For example, you could find out who the most popular speakers were during your event based on what people were tweeting. That gives you guidance for programming the next event.

Once you show your board or executive team what a free tool can do, you can make a case for doing more with even better tools.

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