It seems that most marketers are still counting clickthroughs as if that is all that matters. While clickthroughs can tell a lot about your content and your visitors, I like the idea of counting “heads that performed a specific action.”
It’s called Qualified Reach.
The idea is that you don’t just count people who show up on your site, in your Twitter feed, or who subscribed to your newsletter. You count the people who respond to your calls to action. Those are the ones who are your true actionable metrics.
Think of it like this. You walk into your local supermarket, walk down several aisles, have a look around, and leave. You don’t buy anything. You just spend fifteen minutes browsing the shelves and leave. Do you think that supermarket counts you as a customer? Of course not. They likely won’t even know that you were there. After all, there’s no record to prove that you were.
Having a visitor show up on your website and look around without buying anything is like visiting the supermarket without making a purchase. It doesn’t benefit the supermarket; and that site visitor doesn’t benefit you. Therefore, it’s not a metric.
Many social media snake oil salesmen will try to get you to purchase a sponsored tweet, or pay them to send a message to their followers on Facebook or some social media site. Ask them this question: What is your typical response rate? If they don’t have an answer, don’t stop. Keep walking. Serious marketers measure their responses. And you shouldn’t pay for numbers of followers. Pay only for a response metric.