“How many press hits did we get?”
“What’s our rating on Klout?”
“Have we doubled our Facebook fans this quarter?”
“How many retweets did we get on the latest blog post?”
You’ve heard these questions if you work in PR or digital. They all speak to quasi-important things.
They also share an interesting commonality:
Even if the answers to ALL these questions are of a positive nature, you may not be eating well or paying the mortgage this month.
That’s because you can have press hits, retweets, a high Klout score, and a Roman legion’s worth of Facebook fans and still go bankrupt. (For heaven’s sake you can have an income statement that looks amazing and still go out of biz).
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re using any of tools/tactics alluded to above, you should be thinking about these metrics.
But social media and PR cost money. (Great piece on the costs of the former here from Mr.Brown)
This means you need money back via sales to pay for them. And, that means sales, not fans, cameras, retweets, Klout ratings or somebody’s grandma knowing your company’s name.
This is what gets me:
Correlation matters (even if it is imperfect). If you’re seeing enough examples of no beneficial correlations between your PR/social media efforts and sales it’s time to move…quick.
Why have we, particularly those of us in the game, become so enamored with metrics that are not of the “need this to stay in business” variety?