Finding a way to measure success is a much harder than people realize. To measure successfully, you actually have to pick a set of metrics and stick to them. If you're trying to fit back into your skinny jeans you will probably measure how well you're doing with a scale or tape measure.
For social media, it can be pretty sticky. We want to have the MOST followers, likes, comments, shares, highest Klout scores, viral content. Yet, how effective is that as a way to gauge effectiveness? If your only goal is to be liked, those numbers and stats work great. If you're running a business popularity only wins if it comes in the form of cashable checks. So, if indeed, our mission using social media is to harness our social networks and leverage it to help our businesses thrive we need to use a different measurement. If we are running a restaurant, our mission needs to be butts in seats. The more people we have come in and ordering food, the higher our revenue. Now how would leverage our social accounts in order to accomplish that? Expand Your Reach First, we would need to build relationships and network with our social media in order to get our name in front of enough people to actually come. This isn't as simple as it sounds. The people that comprise our followers need to be both willing and able to come. If I am a steak house, marketing to vegans isn't going to be the most effective strategy. I need to find people who are people who are going to be completely satisfied with my cooking. Not only would I need to find like-minded people, I would also need to cultivate a crowd of them in my area. What good would it be for me to have a steak house here in Portland, Oregon and have most of my followers in Australia? Finding the best fit for your business takes time. Be sure to give yourself that every day. Create Enough Good Content If your reach isn't good enough to bring in the hordes you desire, make sure you are producing enough material for your audience to interact with. My grandmother never cooked. Well, that's not true. She had a couple recipes that she excelled at, but those were only made for special occasions. Most of the time dinner was something out of a box, or frozen bag. Despite my love of my grandmother's cooking, it's hard to say she actually cooked because it happen so infrequently. Had she cranked out homemade mac and cheese more often, I would have looked forward to eating with her more. I bring up this nonsequitur story to say if you're not creating the content that your audience wants, they are going to fill up on it somewhere else. Interact With Your Audience People want to know there is a caring person behind your brand. They want to talk to real people, not machines. When was the last time you called a company and got truly excited that you got to “pick from the following options.” We all have stories that we want to share, and the companies that are able to truly listen to their followers and bring that human element to the table create extremely loyal fans out of followers. And isn't that what we all want? Wouldn't your brand benefit from people telling all their friends and family why they should eat at your place? The only way to get them to fall in love with you as a company is to display your authentic feelings for them. In Summary If your ultimate goal is to succeed financially at business using social media, you need to figure out how you're going to gauge that success. Are you looking to create more trial users? Get more people in the door of your place? Drive sales to a particular product? Pick a couple things you can use as Key Performance Indicators and follow the simple steps, every day until you reach your goal.