The Three R’s of Social Media Metrics




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In “The Three R’s of Social Media Metrics,” the author explores the evolving landscape of social media measurement and highlights the importance of focusing on relevance, reputation, and references. Moving away from traditional methods of advertising and PR, the article explains how the internet has provided opportunities for two-way conversations and the ability to measure the impact of social media on sales. By measuring the relevance of an audience, the reputation of a brand, and the references made by customers, companies can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions to improve their social media strategies. Stay tuned for the next installment to learn more about how to measure these metrics effectively.

The Three R’s of Social Media Metrics

Social media has become an essential tool for businesses to connect with their audience and build brand awareness. However, measuring the effectiveness of social media efforts can be challenging. That’s where social media metrics come in. By understanding and tracking relevant metrics, businesses can gain actionable insights and improve their social media strategies. In this article, we will explore the three key aspects of social media metrics: relevance, reputation, and references.


When it comes to social media metrics, relevance is crucial. It’s important to assess how relevant the audience is to your brand. Simply having a large following or high engagement doesn’t guarantee relevance. To measure relevance, you need to consider factors such as the audience’s goals and interests, knowledge level, and purchase intent. This information can be obtained through surveys or by analyzing audience behavior using tools like page-path analysis, AdWords/Google Analytics, and A/B split testing.

But relevance is not only about the audience’s fit with your brand; it’s also about ensuring that your messages align with the audience’s state of mind. For example, if your audience is primarily looking for educational content, bombarding them with sales pitches may not be effective. By measuring the relevance of your message to the audience, you can tailor your content to better resonate with their needs and interests. It’s also important to keep an eye on unsubscribes, as high unsubscribe rates can indicate a lack of relevance.


Another crucial aspect of social media metrics is reputation. Reputation encompasses both visibility and audience opinion. Visibility refers to how well-known your company or product is in relevant communities, publications, sites, or web ontologies. Measuring visibility can be as simple as tracking the frequency of name mentions.

However, measuring audience opinion is more challenging. Thumbs-up/thumbs-down indicators like those on platforms like Digg or StumbleUpon can be misleading if not carefully interpreted. To get a true measure of your reputation, lexical analysis and search algorithms may be necessary. Some startups have developed reputation measurement solutions, although their effectiveness may vary. Alternatively, you can directly survey your audience for their opinions, although this approach has its own statistical flaws such as self-selection, survey interruptus, surveyor bias, and biased question design.

Trust is an essential element of reputation, and customer recommendations play a significant role in building trust. Prospects are more likely to trust the recommendations of customers over other sources. Tracking and measuring references and testimonials can provide valuable insights into your reputation.


References are ultimately the most powerful and relevant metric for measuring social media effectiveness. The willingness of your audience to reference you as a credible, reliable vendor is a strong indicator of success. Prospects often make purchase decisions based on reviews and references. Therefore, measuring referencability should be a priority.

To measure referencability, it’s essential to focus on customer care and reference management. By taking care of your customers and actively managing their references, you can positively influence your referencability. Implementing a references program and using subtle push-survey tactics can help gather opinions and enhance referencability. Additionally, references and testimonials should be measured with human judgment and recorded in a CRM system for easy reference and management.

The Three Rs of Social Media Metrics

Measuring Social Media Metrics

Now that we’ve explored the three R’s of social media metrics, let’s discuss specific methods and techniques for measuring these metrics.

For measuring relevance, various tools and platforms can be utilized. Surveying the audience, both explicitly through surveys and implicitly through page-path analysis, can provide valuable data on their goals, interests, knowledge level, and purchase intent. Analyzing data from AdWords/Google Analytics and monitoring unsubscribes can also help in assessing message relevance.

When it comes to measuring reputation, analysis of company or product name mentions can provide insights into visibility. Lexical analysis and search algorithms can aid in understanding audience opinion, although the effectiveness of such tools may vary. It’s also worth evaluating startups that offer reputation measurement solutions. Additionally, implementing effective survey methods can help gather opinions, overcoming statistical flaws like self-selection, survey interruptus, surveyor bias, and biased question design.

To measure referencability, strategies should focus on leveraging customer care and reference management. Incorporating push-survey tactics to gather opinions and applying human judgment in measuring references and testimonials can provide more accurate measurements. Keeping references recorded in a CRM system and actively managing their usability is crucial for maintaining and enhancing referencability over time.

The Three Rs of Social Media Metrics


In conclusion, social media metrics play a vital role in assessing the effectiveness of a business’s social media efforts. The three R’s of social media metrics – relevance, reputation, and references – provide comprehensive insights into audience fit, audience opinion, and the credibility of a brand. By measuring these metrics effectively using various tools, platforms, and survey methods, businesses can adapt their social media strategies for improved performance and achieve their goals. Continual monitoring and adaptation are key to stay ahead in the ever-changing landscape of social media.

The Three Rs of Social Media Metrics

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