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If you’re just starting out, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Always look at the metrics that keep the lights on,
 Facebook fans or Tweets don’t pay the bills. Keep a close eye on sales, leads, and other transactional metrics. So get down to what the core metrics of your business are and focus fully on what’s needed to win. Says Mike Street

If you think Facebook Likes is your business metric, you’ve been listening to the wrong people. Listen now to Mike Street, a digital strategist with over 14 years experience, including working with Gary Vaynerchuck on some of the most iconic brands. He won several awards working at digital agencies, and today he is an independent consultant focusing on SocialTV and Luxury. Mike is the organizer of Blacks in Technology meet-up group.

Check out Mike’s take on measuring business success online picking the right metrics and tools in our new Q&A with Search Decoder.

How to Find and Track the Right Online Business Metrics?

In world where businesses have access to overwhelming amount of data, how to filter the right signals?

Businesses have to focus on what really matters in terms of success for ‘their’ business. If you’re a restaurant, then you need people walking through the door on a daily basis. Your focus should be how to get your target audience in the door and what content, ads, testimonials, and other means of business exposure get the customer in the door for dinner.
Always look at the metrics that keep the lights on. Look at what you can do better, and always LISTEN to your customers. With social media you have unprecedented ability to create 24-7 feedback loop. But a lot of businesses are not paying attention to the human feedback data being generated by their customers, and this is a problem.
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photo credit: gui.tavares via photopin cc

What are the key challenges in choosing the right metrics for a business?  

One of the BIG key challenges that business face in choosing the right metrics is that they haven’t set any real goals and they have no idea what success looks like. In my space of working with TV shows, Reality TV stars, and big TV networks, we have clear goals and metrics: 1) Create fandom around the show and 2) Drive Tune-In!

TV shows live and die on Nielsen ratings. So as a Senior Digital Strategist, with clear metrics from my clients, I can develop an actionable strategy that ladders back up to the overall business metrics and tracks success. This can work for any industry. So get down to what the core metrics of your business are and focus fully on what’s needed to win.

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Which 5 metrics should entrepreneurs use when they are just starting out online?

The five metrics entrepreneurs should use when starting out online are:

  • Engagement – Are you talking to the right people who will be loyal to your business and help move your business forward? You need loyalist who will like, comment, share, and evangelize what you are doing or selling
  • Experience – You must create an experience around your brand that is unique, visual, and sets it apart. Leverage the feedback loop of your audience to see if they fully understand the experience that your brand is offering.
  • Growth – Social media fan growth is one of the easiest metrics to follow. It isn’t the ultimate measure of success, but it is a good indicator that your doing something right. Keep track of who is following you, talk to them, and develop an audience profile of who your best fans are, why they where attracted to your brand, and develop tactics in order to capture similar fans.
  • Targeted Viewership – I like to think of digital and social media as a niche TV station. So you want to make sure that those viewing your content are the right people for your business. If your a local TV station in Baltimore, but your fan base is all in Egypt, then that does nothing for your viewership. Make sure your bringing in the right people to your content all the time.
  • Influencers – The bulk of my career has been successful because I’ve built relationships with the right people. If you are just starting out and building a business you will need the help of influencers in your industry/niche. DO your homework and find out who are the top 20 voices in your niche. Follow them! Talk to them, share their content, engage with them. The deeper the relationship you build the more organically they will share your content and engage with your brand. You need their network in order to grow yours.
Once you nailed the 5 metrics above to get your brand out there, focus religiously on conversions (users, signups, leads, sales). Having worked for Gary Vaynerchuck, i’s all about “can we sale shit!” Businesses need to track conversion rates and sales.
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photo credit: ….Tim via photopin cc

Analytics Tools for Bootstrap Entrepreneurs

Which affordable tools can entrepreneurs use to ramp up their analytics?

If you’re serious about metrics then most of the tools are not free. But here are some of the most affordable tools that I use across all of my clients.
  • Twitonomy – A $19 a month this is the only Twitter tool that I need to measure. I use it to measure the estimated reach of #Hashtags 24-hours after a TV show has aired. It also does create PDF reports.
  • Cyfe.com – For $19 a month you can create your own digital dashboard with metrics from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Analytics, and 100’s of other data sites. It’s a MUST HAVE tool if you are into dashboards
  • Crowdbooster – $10 a month for a quick and easy Facebook and Twitter metrics dashboard which will allow you to easily see trends in your community and what’s working and what’s not working

Which metrics to YOU use to track your business success online? Let me know in the comments below

2 replies
  1. Ryan Biddulph
    Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Matt,

    I dig Mike’s experience and advice. He helps one get clear on what they should focus on. Engagement is a biggie; connecting and chatting with both loyal fans is the key to expanding your brand awareness. These rabid fans will do a fair amount of outreach for you via word of mouth marketing, so engage them, ask them questions and listen for answers to strengthen those bonds.

    Most of all don’t try to measure endless metrics; you’ll go mad.

    I recall my struggling days. I tried to measure so many metrics that I had no time left for creating something of real value, nor did I have time to connect with influencers.

    After detaching from this tendency and focusing on metrics that paid the bills this online business gig grew easier. The key is in getting clear on what you really need to measure, to note, clearly, and Mike has hit on these fundamentals up top.

    Thanks so much Matt and Mike.

    Tweeting through Triberr.

    Ryan

    Reply
  2. Brittany Bullen
    Brittany Bullen says:

    Matthew,

    Mike is right on, and it’s a great topic because I know a lot of bloggers struggle with know which metrics to pay attention to.

    I think one important one that’s missing is– sales! I think it was Yaro Starak who has a pretty famous blog post about how traffic makes no difference if the traffic you’re getting doesn’t contain potential customers. This might not be important to every blogger, but it can be a good indicator that your marketing is working.

    Thoughts?
    Brittany

    Reply

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