Newsflash: there is no single formula to determine social media success; at least according to a LinkedIn survey we conducted. For the last two weeks, we’ve been asking our network for their definitions of social success and the responses have really got us thinking. Here are three of the most interesting so far.
“I think success in social media is all about identifying new opportunities,” Huffington Post blogger Menachem Wecker told us.
“Social media works best, I think, when it is set up in a way to introduce users to people and institutions that they never would have known to even search for. Followers and fans and mentions by celebrities are all nice temptations, but it’s really about constructing the closest thing to a crystal ball.”
Credibility and trust
“Social media can facilitate reach and engagement, but only if the influencer has what it takes to be a credible authority in the first place,” says Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and Vocus Users Conference speaker.
“Real influence and authority is being able to inspire and affect tangible outcomes based purely on recommendation. To achieve that, the budding influencer needs to stand for something their community can relate to and be a consistent source of value. The cycle of providing value, growing social networks, engaging with and recognizing ideal network behaviors will lead to growing influence and authority.”
“It all depends on the type of company involved in the process,” says inbound marketer and social media pro Jeremy Krantz.
“Building an identity online and truly becoming both an influencer and authority can be measured through conversion rates, sales, or followers. Not all big name social media brands are influencers but if you can consistently get people to convert on special deals, or follow your lead towards something whether it be a link or to interact on a site or event, than you’ve become an authority. Another obvious one is return on investment. If you’ve made a profit, than clearly you’re doing something right as well.”
Our own answer: you can’t define social media success until you have defined your goals. What are the goals of your company? You want awareness, visibility, credibility and ultimately, sales, right? Once you’ve established those goals, achieving them means success. Set clear objectives from the start and make sure you set milestones along the way to maximize the effectiveness of the campaign.
You can read more of the responses to our LinkedIn survey on how to define social media success here. How do you define it? Let us know with a comment below!