Why your social media community probably hates you

15 Apr

By Jonny Cameron

It’s time re-evaluate what you’re using social media for and to understand what your social media community really thinks of you.

angry man


Likes, followers and engagements; the simplistic trilogy for measuring success, used by myopic social media managers and accepted as valid digital marketing goals by businesses who don’t know any better.

These are often known as “vanity metrics”, especially when compared to the value gained from time and money invested in other digital marketing channels.

Our experience suggests that if you aren’t an ecommerce business, the chances of you selling via Facebook are far reduced compared to investing time and money in organic and paid search engine marketing. So why bother adding likes to your Facebook page and followers to your Twitter account with all the gay abandon of a digital marketer who’s travelled to the future from the year 2007?

What’s the value of “liking” something?

Have a look at https://bitly.com/a/feelings. Bit.ly have summarised it nicely “Because you don’t ‘like’ everything”. It’s difficult to gauge sentiment by looking at the way in which your posts have been interacted with. There’s a danger of taking every @mention on Twitter as an endorsement. There’s also a trend on Twitter of responding to people to thank them for following you. It’s all very well reporting on 50 @ mentions over the past month, when 48 of them have been from accounts thanking you for following them. If these matter to you then just follow as many people as possible and you’ll have loads of @ mentions.

More useful is to measure the number of @replies or retweets as a sign of social amplification.
Lumping all mentions and all interactions into one analysis gives you no indication of affinity, which means you’re getting no real feedback on what people think of you.

Measuring sentiment

If you can find out the type of posts that your fans like then you can give them more. Think of a Facebook strategy that will increase engagement, getting your content in front of more people, more often and that will then help you to achieve your digital marketing goals. These don’t always have to be selling directly, but they should certainly be more than merely increasing the number of Facebook likes you have. Social media monitoring sites like socialmention.com attempt to give you a breakdown of the sentient surrounding a specific theme in terms of the positive or negative language used by your the community. You’ll need to go beyond this and measure specific interactions. How many mentions, retweets and shares were positive? How many customer interactions had positive outcomes? Can you compare this to the value and cost of a positive customer interaction on other channels, e.g. a call centre?

Measuring other things

And it’s not all about sentiment. What are you using social media for, really? The option is there to save yourself money by using it as a customer service tool. Set a realistic time for which you are able to respond to people, demonstrate the ability to deal adequately with any complaints and turn any negatives into positives.

Ok, so your social media community may not hate you, but it really is time to look beyond the numbers!


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