Social Media Metrics?

So I run this blog/website on the “business” of Podcasting and New Media.

That would indicate that there is so money to be made here.

That would / should result in some metrics so we can track this stuff … you know, the old fashioned “can you actually prove that all your time online is making us any cash?

Rachel Happe offers this list of “Social Media Metrics” that is certainly worth your look but her list, for me at least, brings up more questions than it does answers. These include:

Is surveying really an effective way to measure the “effectiveness” of your new media venture? I mean, let’s be honest here, your fans are the ones who are going to complete your surveys. Of course they’re going to say nice things. Also, with the “smart” audience that consumes this stuff, they’re going to answer in the way that they think is the best for us (“of course I buy any product you recommend”).

How do we really measure an “engaged prospect?” Is there some definable metric for that? I have some huge fans who buy anything I produce who don’t wish to comment on blog posts are send me Twitter messages.

Is number of mentions online a good goal? The echo chamber that is all-too-often the Blogsphere only indicates that you got the attention of bloggers – and nothing else. Good if you’re selling a blogging product – meaningless if you’re selling anything else, right?

Could I suggest some social media metrics really worth tracking?

PPC – Profit Per Click. This one is SO important for so many reasons: A) If your PPC is lousy, growing your audience isn’t your first goal. B) If your PPC is significantly more or less than other methods, now you have some obvious action items. C) If this number is high, you can finally legitimize your social media efforts and get your boss off you back / get the funding you deserve.

STC – Subscribers to Clicks Here’s one nobody wants to talk about. Right now I got 2,200+ “followers” on Twitter but if I offer a hyperlink, how many of them will click? Facebook, Ads in Podcasts, Blog readers, etc. – if this number is lousy I better have a good explanation for why I’m doing this.

EPD – Earnings Per Download. I love how Podcasters love to argue what should be paid for CPM when the concept of EPD becomes so much more powerful. I’ve worked with Podcast Properties where we’ve seen more than 50 cents in PROFIT every time an episode was downloaded (through a direct marketing / commissioned sales ad). At that point, arguing about how many people actually “listen” becomes moot – I start looking for audiences to download these things. Yes, obviously, consumption must happen for earnings to be possible, but the metric of EPD is so much easier for me at least. You can translate these numbers directly to CPM too.

VV – Visitor Value. O.k., you’ve had 25,000 people through your site over the last year. It’s o.k. to ask how much money you’ve made from them.

What social media metrics do you use / follow / track?

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