There is a provocatively-titled article at Harvard Business Review by Ivory Madison, "Why Your Social Media Metrics Are a Waste of Time." It makes the point that many social media metrics are "vanity metrics," accurate and easy to acquire, but not informative. Better to focus on "actionable metrics," those that demonstrate cause and effect, and are related to business success. (We here at The Measurement Standard give similar advice. See for instance our four-part series "The Single Answer to 10,000 Measurement Questions: Measure Your Business Impact.")
While the article provides good, but general, advice, the comments to the article provide more specific insights, questions, and suggestions. Everyone seems to have their own spin, objection, or alternate metrics. My favorite comment is from "Anna," who says, in part:
Posts like this piss me off... I hate how ANYONE declares they know how "brands" should measure there [sic] success. The biggest problem is, if you aren't setting goals and measuring your success against THOSE GOALS, you're doing it wrong.
Which is, to my mind, the big point here: Why collect metrics if you don't know what your goals are? --Bill Paarlberg, Editor (Thanks to Vile's Golden Auctions for the image.)