I had a look on plenty of marketing dashboards in the last few days. And there is one thing which is always there: The number of followers (or whatever it is called in the various streams: circles, friends,…).
So here is what I think about this number: It does not matter as you think it does. Here is what that number tells you: It tells you the size of your potential connections with others. This number shows your end of the connections. That’s it. Move this number down in the dashboard hierarchy.
I know that this is an easy way to show that there is an upward movement in your reach. Forget easy numbers on your dashboard. You want to know what is hurting you.
Social media is about interaction and communication. The engagement rate would be a much better metric. If you prefer you can take impressions – completely different from the potential reach – and combine it with the number of likes, favorites, +1s, retweets, replies, comments and reposts.
This will give you the numbers that will be more brutal and honest than just a number of possible opportunities.