Measuring Mobile Audience: How Much Does Social Media Contribute?

There is some debate where I work about how to measure our mobile audience (daily users).

Should we count the number of people following us on social media? (Divided by two – our research team say that half our users social media consumption is on mobile).

The case for followers

People view our posts in their social media feeds.

This metric gives big numbers. It accounts for roughly a third of our daily mobile audience!

The case against followers

A more detailed analysis suggests that 5% is a far more accurate result.

  • Omniture suggests that for mobile, social media referrals to our web site (per day) are roughly 5% of our number of followers
  • Facebook is the biggest network. Facebook comments/likes/shares (per day) are roughly 1% of our number of followers (across mobile and web).
  • Offline conversation. We can only estimate it. I estimate it to be similar to online conversation: 1%.
  • Use of our Facebook app (per day) is roughly 10% of our number of followers. But mainly non-mobile.

Only 16% of followers will see the post

  1. Many followers (50%?) won’t view Facebook every day. (Our social media team might have some more accurate stats).
  2. Posts are likely to be buried: the user won’t scroll down far enough to see them. This combined with (1) above means that only 16% of followers are likely to see a given post.

Does seeing a post count as audience?

What about the 16% who do see the post. If they don’t act on it – click the link or share it or talk offline about it – should it count as “audience”?

It’s a bit like commuters who view a newspaper headline over someone else’s shoulder but don’t read the article or see the ads. Are they “audience”? Or someone who searches Google, sees your page in the results, but doesn’t click on it.

Coming next: why accurate metrics are important for a successful business…

(NOTE: The metrics above are not used for clients, only internal targets)

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