Whilst watching Exeter Chiefs Official win the premiership, and again today watching England Rugby against the Barbarians, it made me think about social media metrics. A little sad, I know, but stick with me for a minute, I promise there's a rugby and business related point to this.
When it comes to social media for clients we're obsessed with proving the return on investment (ROI) for the work we do. Obsessed with putting a monetary value against posting, engaging and the like. Gary Vaynerchuck once asked 'What's the ROI of your mother?' in response to our obsession with results. Because sometimes we spend all our time looking for metrics, statistics and monetary outcomes instead of just getting on with doing what we know has to be good for our business.
So, in true Gary Vee fashion, I wondered 'What's the ROI of a rugby match?' For the teams and the players, the reward for all their effort has to be a win, advancement up the league or standings and better chances of having their playing contract renewed at the end of the season. But only one team can win.
So then I thought about the scoreline, because it doesn't really matter what the score is (unless there are bonus points on offer etc) a win is a win. So, much like followers and likes on social media, these are just vanity metrics. Players keep track of how many tries they score, but it's a team game, so again that's a vanity metric.
What does the coach look for? The coach monitors individual performance amongst his players. But the fascinating thing in rugby, is that they track the number of tackles each player makes, the number of line breaks, the number of balls he turns over and the distance he manages to run, gaining territory for his team.
Basically, rugby measures engagement, reach and effort. It measures the contribution from each player, in the same way we should be judging our social media content. Rugby audiences appreciate player effort, skill and sportsmanship often far more than the actual score line.
Maybe it's time we learned the same when it comes to our social media content?