The Importance of Social Media Metrics

I’ve been knee-deep in job applications lately and spending a lot of time thinking about the likelihood of me being asked to interview at some of my dream publications. And, if I am lucky enough to get a coveted interview, what are they going to ask me about? What should I prepare besides my normal interview routine?

The Journalism Jobs article, “How To: Prepare for a journalism job interview,” and The Prepary’s “How to Prepare for an Interview: Use this easy checklist” have been really helpful with reeling in my questions and concerns about the journalism-industry interview process. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Understand basic interview etiquette and pick out an appropriate interview outfit for this position
  • Do your homework—extensively research he company you’re interviewing with and the industry you’re interested in working for
  • Study the most common interview questions and be prepared with great answers that will set you apart from others
  • Demonstrate your experience by giving well-thought out examples of impressive projects you’ve worked on
  • Come with ideas on how you can contribute to the company or publication through this new position
  • Be prepared to ask a few good questions, but not too many

Through my own experiences with previous interviews and my recent job application process, I feel compelled to add one more tip to the list:

  • Be prepared to describe your social media presence and explain how its helped foster personal brand development and engagement with others in the journalism industry
Photo Credit: Getty
Photo Credit: Getty

Why is this particularly important, you ask? Because you are a brand, and just like a business, you must promote your brand and yourself in every job interview you enter. And, outside of job interviews, the best way to promote your personal brand is through social media!

According to the article, “Metrics, metrics everywhere: How do we measure the impact of journalism?” metrics are powerful tools for insight and decision-making and are really just proxies of our real social media goals.

The article, “5 social media metrics that your business should be tracking,” states social media users have access to unprecedented information about how their content is received and acted upon and its important to track social media metrics for the purpose of identifying which content is most relevant. Some of the best social media metrics to track include:

  • Your reach and audience growth rate
  • Brand posts and total engagement
  • Social conversations
  • Overall activity

The Poynter article, “How journalists can measure engagement,” says while engagement is imperative, it isn’t just Twitter, Facebook or social media; it’s really getting to know your online audience. Perhaps the best tactic for measuring metrics, the article states, is by looking at social shares, on-site comments and page views.

While thinking about studying my own metrics, I first assumed I would just simply look up my Klout score, though I had never used the social media measurement site before. The site’s mission is to basically rank the influence of every person online with a score from 1-100.

Klout is great for putting numbers behind your social media interactions and makes it easy to identify social media influencers and those accounts that are least active online, states the article, “Don’t Like Klout? 12 Other Ways to Track Social Media Influence and Engagement.”

After logging on the website and linking all of my social media accounts, I had to wait a few days for Klout to come up with my score. Not knowing much about the site, I didn’t exactly know what to think about my score of 59—but I recognized its importance.

The Wired article, “What Your Klout Score Really Means,” recounts one journalist’s failure to get an offer for a VP position at a large marketing firm due to his low Klout score. The article also interestingly explains that Klout is beginning to infiltrate our everyday, online transactions as software giant now allows companies to monitor the scores of customers who Tweet complaints and compliments. Those with higher scores will presumably likely get faster, friendlier attention from customer service representatives, the article says.

Learning my Klout score is just the first step toward gaining a more complete understanding of how to best measure my online activity and reach through metrics. Knowing the basics of how I’m influencing others through my social media accounts, as well as knowing exactly how to best prepare for interviews, will help me land my dream job in this exciting, ever-changing industry.