As we run with the theme of privacy this issue, we asked Rachel Miller, social and influencer marketing expert for her take on the topic and, of course, we were not disappointed.

Social media is becoming more and more important to business every day. And, I find it quite fascinating that in this current era of data overload, many marketers and individuals are still hyper-focused on vanity metrics such as Likes and Followers. Social media ROI does not come from large follower accounts. It comes from the number of people clicking, downloading, and ultimately purchasing your product or service.

I found it incredibly interesting when the news came out last month that Instagram is experimenting with removing Like counts from posts, with only the creator able to see their total number of likes. What would this mean for content marketing and influencer marketing? It means, joyously, that true business value will have to be provided. Action, not eyeballs.

Do you know the ROI of your social media activity? Can you honestly say you know how to engage your target customer? Most marketer’s don’t, and it’s not for lack of tools. It’s a lack of data analysis.

We are very fortunate, or unfortunate depending on what side of the fence you sit on, to have a wealth of data provided to us by social media platforms. Data breaches withstanding, it is quite easy to get a very finite snapshot of who is engaging and who could potentially engage with your content. If you are not using the data to personalize the customer experience, you are missing out on creating massive value for your target audience.

From a privacy standpoint, here’s the million dollar question: where is the line between desired customization and privacy? In order to give the best customer experience, a healthy amount of personal information must be shared. I have talked at length with friends and peers on this topic and opinions vary greatly. I am okay sharing my data if it makes for a better user experience. But, I also want to know what specific data is being shared. That level of user transparency is integral to platform trust building. The future of trust could be a new buzz phrase. You’re welcome!

42% of the world population uses social media. That equates to 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, which breaks down even further to 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers. Then we can drill down by device type, platform preference and even further to the day of the week and time of day. Do they also like the color blue?

Social media ROI is primarily driven by a true engagement which is the result of a personalized experience. Use available data to create content your target audience will value and present it to them at the right time and on the right platform. This will generate the action needed for business success.

Likes and Followers do not generate social media ROI. And what happens if those metrics disappear from public view? Focus on creating actionable experiences for your target audience and worry less about vanity metrics.

Photo by Gerax Sotelo on Unsplash

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