Social Media Manager

Are Social Media Metrics Lying About Your Brand and Customer Interactions?

  |  November 15, 2013   |  Comments

Great metrics often disguise mediocre performance. That’s what happens when metrics are focused inwardly on company performance instead of customer experience; it happens everywhere, but nowhere is it as pernicious as in social media.

Social Media ManagerA Bain survey recently shared that 80 percent of company executives believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But when Bain asked the executive's same customers about their own perceptions, only 8 percent of customers felt those companies were really delivering. That’s a huge disconnect. How can that be?

Great metrics often disguise mediocre performance. That’s what happens when metrics are focused inwardly on company performance instead of customer experience. It happens everywhere but nowhere is it as pernicious as in social media. We’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and a story may illustrate the principle.

Consider a recent example, of a pretty good customer experience. I was flying to Las Vegas to keynote the SEMA online marketing conference. I was on the plane way too early and connected to wifi. I started hoping that the hotel might allow me to check in early. If not I would kill a little time and head out to meetings at other venues. Maybe you can relate.

I sent out this tweet to the Cosmopolitan Hotel:

They responded within 20 minutes with this tweet:

From the hotel’s perspective their quick response time probably met their goals of responding to all tweets in a timely manner. In fact, the recent research supports the fact when a consumer tweets to a brand 65 percent of them want a response in two hours or less, with 20 percent expecting a response in 30 minutes or less. They also expect response times to be faster if it is an actual complaint, my tweet wasn’t. The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas is performing better than most. I wonder how their executives would measure the opportunity cost of this response.

Here are some additional facts to consider so you can take the hotel guest’s perspective:

  • Normal check-in time is 3:00 PM. I was arriving around 1:30PM.
  • I was able to easily check in to my hotel room at 1:30pm. Happy to be able to hang up my clothes and then head out for my meetings.
  • My hotel room was being paid for by SEMA since I was their guest. To put that in context their conference brings in around 150,000 visitors to Las Vegas, one of the five largest events in Las Vegas.
  • I sent them a Tweet to initiate a conversation. I am not a celebrity or very influential, in case they might be looking at Klout scores or something similar. However, about 30,000 people follow me on Twitter.

This is not a fact, but I speculate that their Social Media team functions in a silo. They probably have an organizational data problem, they may not have access to any other hotel information.

Oh, and by-the-way, my overall experience staying at the hotel was an A-, might I feel more connected to the hotel if I received a different response? Perhaps.

The Cosmopolitan hotel did not give me any additional information that I already didn’t know in their tweet. The response was lame. Even if they were super busy and had no hotel rooms for early check-in, I would understand that it happens. I just wanted to save the trip to the hotel and the cab fare if they were not ready for me.

My friend Ted Rubin, co-author of Return on Relationship, said “They didn't engage; they gave you a pre-written, boiler-plate response (that could have been automated), and missed an opportunity to build a relationship and be remarkable. At the least they could have said 'Thanks for reaching out Bryan. Reach out when you are on your way and we will check for you.'"

If you were in charge of Social Media for the Cosmopolitan Hotel what would have done? Please comment on your response if there was a room or if there wasn’t.

I hope your metrics are telling you the truth.

P.S. The biggest irony of this situation is that I was headed to present on’s customer centricity & amazing business performance while chatting on the plane with someone from WholeFoods discussing their focus on customer experience.

ClickZ Live New York Want to learn more?
Attend ClickZ Live New York March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 60 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!


Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES,, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Analytics newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software

A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.



    • SEO Specialist
      SEO Specialist ( - New YorkBankrate, Inc. operates a network of personal finance related web sites for consumers.  Our sites provide...
    • Search Manager
      Search Manager (LOYAL3) - San FranciscoThe Role: We are looking for a bright, driven and personable performance-based marketer to join LOYAL3’...
    • Product Manager - Contract position
      Product Manager - Contract position (Wiley Publishing) - HobokenThis position can be located in either Hoboken, NJ or Indianapolis, IN. We are...