The proliferation of social media has brought us new opportunities to measure how well a post, article, page or website is doing.
Now we can measure beyond page views, impressions, click-throughs, open rates and comments.
You can choose from “likes” (Facebook) as well as “tweets” or “retweets” and “shares” (LinkedIn) and so on.
What’s my favorite? It’s what I’ll call “all of the above but at different times.”
OK, that’s a mouthful. But here’s what I mean.
It’s unrealistic to think that every article will be inundated with comments and tweets and “likes” and so on. (Unless you’re the Tiger Mother.)
Nor, for me, is there one metric that I necessarily want to achieve with everything on ERE.net.
But if we can spike up one metric one hour and another metric another hour – that’s good.
I find that our highly-tweeted and re-tweeted posts tend to be about certain subjects that apply to the masses, which have broad appeal – but may not be the most valuable and detailed. These highly tweeted posts are great, but relying on them exclusively is dangerous as a long-term strategy. (Think of those magazine articles about “5 Superfoods” and “3 Ways to Become a Millionaire”; they grab you but over time there are only so many ways to be told to eat your blueberries and your almonds, and you lose interest in the publication.)
The articles that are most researched, and are in most depth, are often most valuable to a smaller number of people. They draw fewer tweets and likes. They’re necessary for a strong site, but relying on them alone is dangerous, as they draw less traffic. The metrics for them are tough to pin down – and are often in the form of verbal or written feedback as to how the article helped someone.
Controversies draw more comments, a great metric – but to make that the sole metric can create an atmosphere where you’re trying to create controversy, which usually is transparent in its lameness.
That’s how I see it for our site. Each article has a different purpose and a different metric should be used to judge its success. I like to see a high tweet count on one piece, a high number of comments on another and a “thank-you” note on a third.
I’d love to hear how you measure content success.
Posted by Todd Raphael