Quality vs Quantity – how do you measure success?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Strategy

There’s a constant battle to deliver metrics that add value and demonstrate an actual return on your investment. And like so many other things in life, it seems like bigger numbers are always better (heavy emphasis on seems)! It’s easy to see 100 Facebook likes is better than 10 likes right? But under some heavier scrutiny that’s not always the case. We don’t always measure what’s right – we measure what’s big!

As marketers the pressure’s on to deliver “good metrics” – which is vague and open to interpretation. For most executives good means a lot. 1 million impressions, 1000 likes or 100 shares – these are the types of numbers that essentially put smiles on their faces.

But we know the truth.

Without context, benchmarks or some kind of level-setting, measuring success is like asking “how long is a piece of string?”

Are you measuring quality or just quantity?
Are you measuring quality or just quantity?

Quality > Quantity

Are you looking for a lot of people to see your content or the right people to see it? Quantity is an easy metric, but rarely tells you much about success. You could spend some money and get your social media post seen by millions. But what good is a million people seeing your post if they’ll never buy your product? If they’re not your core audience, it’s a pretty big waste of marketing dollars.


Measurement is about context above everything.  It’s your job to help educate your internal stakeholder and help them understand what successful metrics look like. In my experience most people don’t fully understand engagement rates or how likes contribute to sales. So it falls to you paint the picture.

Level-Set and Benchmark

A tool like SocialBakers is great for capturing industry averages for most social metrics. A simple Google search should deliver all kinds of benchmarks, reports and case studies to help you demonstrate how similar brands or campaigns faired before you. Executives love to see that someone else did it first.

Set Goals

While obvious, setting goals is frequently overlooked. Lots of brands keep measuring the same things because that’s the way it’s always been done, but don’t stop to ask whether those metrics have much bearing on their brand. You need to understand what your goals are before you can decide what to measure and gauge success.

Play the Long Game

At the end of the day success is what it’s all about. Single campaigns don’t generally tell a complete story about success – so measure each campaign or content piece against the whole. Month over month metrics will tell you far more than day-to-day performance so don’t miss the forest for the trees. Keep the analytics consistent and evaluate in larger time segments.

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