Facebook just announced that it now has one billion active users -- an astounding number. On the other hand, you (or your organization) may have but 1,000 or 10,000 -- hardly a dent, and at best, a rounding error.
Whether your number hovers at 100 or a billion, this singular measure of "success" is of little value, and at best misleading. Here are two reasons why:
McDonald's also once celebrated billions served. Eventually they also figured out that people cared more about taste, healthiness, clean restaurants, and speed. They also determined that an emotional brand connection was more powerful than just numbers. (They no longer advertise Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar, and their French Fries, preferring instead to talk about the feeling of having a quality coffee at their McCafe's.)
The most important statistic is whether the effort being spent is driving the results your organization requires.
- If your goal is greater awareness, then track the increase in number of likes, shares and friends.
- If your goal is increased number of leads, then track newsletter sign-ups and white paper downloads.
- If your goal is increased sales, then yes, track sales, and do it by source.
Is a billion users a significant milestone? Absolutely. Does it matter? Not in the least.
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