Measuring Social Media Marketing Success

I am frequently asked, “How do I know if what I’m doing is successful? How do I place value on Twitter followers, Facebook fans, site visitors or email subscribers?”


Some experts who use new/social media marketing (I hate the term, but it’s frequently used to describe the concept of using tools like blogs and social networks to more passively market) say you can’t track ROI for social media marketing, but it’s not true.

While some people are looking for the ultimate answer, you must first know the ultimate question. Only you can know your own ultimate question for your SCUBA business.

What Do I Want Out Of This?

Everyone has a different goal, but most people agree that eventually they’d like more business.

Some people focus on Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Having a supportive network can be great motivation. If it results in business, you are a success.

Some people focus on site traffic or comments. Also great motivation and site traffic can be a great indicator that people are paying attention to you. Unfortunately, comments aren’t always the best indicator since most people are Spectators, not Critics.

Some people may not even care about real business conversions, they just like chatting with friends on Facebook or Twitter or sharing ideas on a blog. While I think this is great, that methodology keeps these social tools as social tools, not social marketing tools.

My Example

I’m averaging 1.9 comments per post over the last 8 months, which doesn’t seem like a lot, even to me. Every week, unique visitors are up at least 10%, bounce rate is decreasing by at least 1% and time on site is increasing at least 12 seconds despite shorter articles. Twitter followers and Facebook fans are increasing without any form of active recruitment. Email subscribers are increasing almost 20% every week. I now rank on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for well over 20 different long tail search terms and within the top 3 for many of those.


Those numbers really mean absolutely nothing. Sure, I like to pat myself on the back and say, “Good job Nick!” but a pat on the back doesn’t pay for my SCUBA instructor insurance.

From the beginning, my goal has been to eventually focus on SCUBA, both instruction and marketing consulting. Guess what? Mission accomplished 🙂

I can’t provide full details just yet, but I have generated enough business from my site to allow me to do this full time. One guy, one site, eight months.

So does all of this blogging and social networking stuff work? You’d better believe it does.

Photo via BrittneyBush

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