One Man’s Journey: The Last Click

Previously on “One Man’s Journey”:

One Man’s Journey To Discover WTF A Click Is

One Man’s Journey: The Help Centers Of Doom

One Man’s Journey: Raiders of the Lost Signal

So there it was. The culmination of all my minutes of hard work lay in front of me. There had to be an answer somewhere within the information I had so proficiently accrued. There had to be something that explained the discrepancy that plagued my social media metrics and haunted my nightmares. But why couldn’t I see it? I flipped through page after page of meticulous notes. I pinned strings to my wall in that really obsessed and slightly alcoholic detective fashion. Then I got back to work.

The most I could find were vague similarities and hints at explanations:

“Twitter” – The page isn’t completely loading, so it’s not counted by Googs.

“Facebook” – Cookie based measuring means Googs can’t track the clicks.

“LinkedIn” – Your tracking code probably isn’t working, plus we count all sorts of clicks in our metrics.

“Bitly” – We measure “decodes”, not clicks.

“Googs” – Our click counters might be blocked for various reasons.

With no overarching answer in sight, and the deadline for this blog coming dangerously close, there was no time to waste. I turned to the last trick in my book: my astute power of deduction. The room grew dark. The walls began to shake. Thoughts flew through my mind like spirits escaping that box thing in that one movie with the archeologist guy in a hat. Then, silence. The light slowly returned to the room and suddenly everything was so clear. It had been right in front of me the whole time. There is no ultimate explanation. There truly are multiple reasons why social media metrics from platforms might not align with third party tracking. But this left another, potentially more important question. How do I measure social media clicks?!?

I looked back at my misleading metrics with a defeated glance. My astute powers of deduction were depleted. I had come so far, but the mystery had won. Staring at the numbers, I simmered with equal parts hatred, disgrace, and Jim Beam. Suddenly I noticed something I hadn’t before. While the numbers didn’t align exactly, there were trends that did. When one platform showed dips in clicks, so did the other.

That was it! I had an answer to the riddle that had flooded my every thought. Clicks metrics aren’t meant to be taken literally, but used to glean insight into what is working with content and what isn’t. They’re more of a reference to success than a direct measurement of. Social platform analytics aren’t completely discrediting each other, but complementing. Report visuals danced in my head. I could see the benchmarks taken from multiple locations, or averaged from all of them. I could even refer to whatever benchmarking structure works best for each platform or reporting outline that I might need. If done on a consistent basis, this would provide more than enough insight to help guide my social strategy, optimize my content, and gauge success.

What came next can only be described as the manliest tears of joy you could possibly imagine.

These days my reports might still use numbers to showcase results, but now they’re accompanied by an asterisk. An asterisk indicating that these numbers are a general representation of performance and not a precise measurement.  An asterisk indicating that there is no more mystery behind social media clicks. An asterisk indicating that this one man’s journey has come to an end.


Have a somewhat straightforward social media mystery of your own? Shoot it to me at @ryanfromaustin. I can’t guarantee results, but I can guarantee a ‘favorite’ and most likely a ‘retweet’.

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