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It’s funny, but if you go to many marketing conferences or read marketing blogs, then you’ll soon find out there is no real consensus among online marketers about what makes for a good social media metric. Some marketers talk about “return on influence” while others talk about “reach.” And others don’t have a clue. But what’s really important?

Should you measure how many Likes you have? What about Retweets? Is it important to keep an eye on the number of shares or followers you’ve acquired?

While it might be nice to see that you have ten thousand followers, it doesn’t really make much sense to pat yourself on the back if none of those followers translate into sales. The only real metric you should be concerned about is what affects your bottom line. Are your social media efforts leading to an increase in business?

Contrary to what some social media marketers teach, you can measure your effectiveness. But you’ll never figure it out by counting your followers and fans or your retweets. Instead, set concrete goals for your social media marketing and measure your results according to those goals.

For instance, set up a landing page just for your social media marketing efforts and measure how much traffic you drive to that landing page through social media, then see how many conversions you get.

Social media measurement doesn’t have to be hard. It just has to be done.

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