I almost called this post “Counting What Counts” but I thought it best to keep it even simpler to understand. I got into another discussion with someone not long ago about how they were measuring success. They have a fairly active social community – Facebook and Instagram primarily – and they were quite happy with how things have been going. The problem is that they’re focused on things other than those that create tangible value. That, to me, means cash because one of my other mantras is Cash Is King. You can generate all the shares and likes you want but the supermarket – or your investors/employees/vendors – doesn’t take shares or likes.
It’s great to foster engagement but the aim of that engagement should be to convert it into sales. Sometimes that conversion comes indirectly, I know, but if you’re tracking things with an eye toward cash, you’ll have a sense of where the conversion began and not just where it ends up (first click vs. last click for you data nerds out there). Please don’t take that to mean that we should ignore folks who aren’t in a buying sort of mood right now. Consistent, user-focused engagement is the best way to assure that we will be on their radar when buying time comes around. Just don’t take the fact that you’ve got that engagement to mean that you’re making great progress until you can demonstrate that it’s resulting in something that will buy you a quart of milk.