When it comes to actually measuring results of social media campaigns, we like to focus on reach.  Yes, followers matter and your message matters.  Yes, your product marketing, brand, copy all play a part in selling the product or service.  However, these are all separate marketing strategies that exist whether you engage in social media or not.   So when we look at results,  we pay attention to reach because if you have good reach, then you can adjust all the other tactics to improve your sales.

This is something we have to clarify to clients. We aren’t always hired to change their marketing plan.  If they don’t have a good web site or product pages then they may not get sales. A social media campaign might work great, but if the shopping cart malfunctions, you can’t measure success by revenue.  Tha’ts why we focus on reach because this is what we can control.

What is Reach?

Here is a simple formula to help you try to understand Twitter Reach as it pertains to your individual tweets that you compose:

(Your Followers x  Your Tweets) + (Retweet Followers) = Reach

So if I have 1000 Followers and tweeted 10 times this week.  And those tweets were retweeted 50 times and you add up the followers of the people that retweeted your message then you have total reach.   More or less the same thing can apply to other social media platforms though there is more complexity in sites like Facebook because of how their news feed works.

The great thing about measuring reach is that it combines follower acquisition, follower quality,  total engagement and engagement quality.  So if you add 500 followers in a month then you will increase reach.  If 10% of those followers are very active and retweet a lot then you will see increased reach.   If you tweet 50 times more per month then you increase reach.  If you add 10 more super quality, catchy, trendy tweets that gives you a 300% increase in retweets then you’ve really increased your reach.

This is why engagement is usually more important than followers. This is especially true after you get established.  Certainly, having 100,000 followers helps your reach vs. 500.  And you really never want to stop trying to get new followers.   However, good engagement will help you increase your followers and your reach.

Everyone Can  Be Better at Engagement

I’ll make a confession. I have a lot of twitter accounts.  Most of them are for sites that we own and some of our sites do better than others in terms of traffic and social engagement.  But with so many accounts and so many clients to work on, I just don’t have time to engage the way I should.  I have to prioritize my time and it shows up in the reports time after time.  I have to take Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice.. Work Harder and Faster .  The reason why? The accounts I engage actively will smoke the accounts with high follower numbers.  As Gary would say, “They crush it.”

Also, the more your engage, the better you look to Twitter, so you will show higher in their internal searches.  You will also show up higher in recommended follow searches.  And here soon, the most popular tweets will actually start ranking in Google.

The point I’m making is that you need the Followers to start and you need quality, active followers.  As your followers grow, you will eventually get more bang for the buck by improving your engagement .  Engagement can be endless.  You can literally spend all day on social media and almost no one has the time work all day.  Still, it’s important that you find some time and try consistently improve.   Just strike up a conversations, comment on others comments, share, retweet, favorite and keep going.  Your activity will help sell yourself, your services or your products.  Ultimately, engagement improves your reach and helps you achieve your goals.