This is the 4th and final post in my Small Business Takeaways from IMS 2010 series. If you missed the first 3 posts in this series, check them out below:
Part 1 – Social Media Works IF You Are Engaged In It
Part 2 – Social Media + Investment of Time = Financial Return
Part 3 - Small Businesses Have A Huge Advantage with Inbound Marketing - Agility & Flexibility
Metrics Are Vital to Inbound Marketing
To make inbound marketing work, you have to have some measurement tool in place to see if your time investment is working. By metrics, I don't mean pure "Likes" on facebook, or "Followers" on twitter. One of the best quotes about this at the Summit was:"If you only count the number of followers you have on twitter, or the number of Likes on facebook, you're only measuring how good you are at twitter and facebook."
This is so unbelievably true. Building the community is important, but it's what your business can gain from it and what they do with it really matters. Is it Qualified leads? Reviews/testimonials? Referrals? Sales? These are real metrics. I like several brands on facebook and follow several businesses/people on twitter, but I really have zero interest in buying from the vast majority of them. To most of them, I am NOT a qualified lead.
Measuring the Metrics
Without some plan for measuring the metrics, having the metrics is pointless. Measurement can be done in a variety of ways, and your small business marketing firm should be able to help you establish/implement/track your metrics. With regular review of your metrics, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.