But that’s changing. As social marketing evolves, marketing pros are realizing the necessity of looking beyond the numbers to see what’s really happening. Here’s one current example: Fathom Analytics is now using four equally-weighted factors to determine something they call the ‘Facebook relationship quality index’ or RQI.
The four factors are: 1) Momementum – How quickly is the brand acquiring new fans? 2) Fan Engagement – How often do fans post or interact on your brand’s wall? 3) Emotional Quality – How much positive emotion is being expressed in comments? And 4) The number of likes (yes, it still matters).
What’s interesting about using four factors rather than just one is that many brands don’t rank nearly as high as they would otherwise. It takes long-term strategy and innovative tactics to keep fan engagement at high levels over time, and engagement is paramount.
However, all kinds of consumer brands haven’t figured this out yet. So they’ll do something like run a big contest that adds lots of fans for a month or two. Then they follow that with… nothing. Which means all those potential evangelists have no reason to return to the brand’s Facebook wall, or even to allow its posts to show up on their own walls.
So how do you show the love to your fans over time – so they’ll return it? First, give them a discount. The number one reason people visit brand Facebook pages is in order to receive special offers. Second, entertain them. Create humorous videos or other types of content they’ll enjoy enough to pass along. Third, create a fun game around your products or brand. This is really just another form of entertainment, but games have incredible power for building share of mind. Fourth, create a cool new mobile app. One that’s based on what your evangelists really like to do.
Now here’s the caveat. All of these tactics require an investment of time and money. Games and apps are not cheap. Funny videos require exceptional ideas and ample production dollars. Which leads to this conclusion: If you really want your brand to excel in social marketing the days of low-cost, intern-managed programs are behind us.
Smart, ahead-of-the-curve brands are leading the way. Perhaps you’ll be one of those, too?