How do you measure the ROI of your social media?
How do you measure the ROI of your social media strategies and campaigns?
Hi Neil I wrote a huge chapter on this in a book called The Experts Guide To Social Media Marketing - however there is a mini 5 point version on our site - check our blog for more info, unfortunately I can't publish the link here I will send it to you.
There are so many ways to do this and so many metrics you can potential pull from social media that it may get all to confusing. One of the best books I've read on this topic has got to be Social Media ROI by Oliver Blanchard and it basically brings it back to basics.
Instead of thinking of your metrics purely in a social media framework you work backwarsd from your overall business goals. For example if your business goal was to increase sales by 20% and create more brand awareness you can then attach the relevant social media metrics to these business goals. That way you are focused on building your business via social media as opposed to get side tracked into the game of building as many fans or followers possible which can be a very bad use of resources for your business.
If you look at the 20% sales increase example you may track social metrics such as:
- How many clicks have my social channels sent to "insert your sales landing page URL here" - that way you'll begin to create a social strategy focussed on sending conversions to a page that will generate revenue for your business as opposed for just the sake of looking popular
- If your conversions are done through an online shopping cart you can use the ecommerce module on analytics to track how many conversions came direct from social
- You can also track the number of referrals you get to your website from social channels as well.
If we are looking at a increasing brand awareness goal you may consider the following metrics for ROI:
- Number of mentions of your brand name on social media -> has there been an increase over time?
- Number of interactions with your content on your social channels
- Number of shares of your content
Depending on your business goal there are a number of appropriate ROI metrics to measure and the key is to focus on the conversion and results metrics not just the vanity metrics such as "number of twitter followers" and "number of Facebook fans" as those don't really mean much to you as a business, it's what they do that does :)
Again I can't stress how great the above book is if you are looking for a very deep look into Social Media ROI. I've linked it above for your convenience.
This is coming from a business owner, on my own experience and certainly not a social media expert
Initially, I looked at the stats weekly. How many hits to my website, how many mentions / promotions was I receiving and found that it was actually de-motivating to see hits and mentions without actual conversions. It wasn't turning into dollars for me. This, as I later realised was because in my industry, my products or services are only relevant typically for a 30 day window, when they receive their existing renewal in the post. So, how then was i to measure social media or any internet marketing results on a silo basis.
What I discovered through stopping and looking back at my overall macro results (not just the social media/marketing results) prior to social media, then comparing that to the overall macro results, what I discovered was that our conversion and retention rates climbed steadily after we began a series of social media campaigns and invested into a website that offered greater integration of the blogs to social media connections.
For our business, the statistics and clicks were not a quantum to determine the return on investment, but viewing the campaign as part of our overall business, the results became obvious, and this is how I discovered my actual return on investment.
The statistics are excellent on an ongoing basis to ensure that I continue to have the right focus and don't lose momentum.
It is fascinating that whenever this type of question is
raised that there individuals who respond with essentially unquantified 3rd party examples or references to expert guides published by social media proponents. Never (yes never) have I had the pleasure of reading one attributable quantified response that delivers real data and a commercially realistic ROI.
The total absence of any examples either means that Social Media is so fantastic that everyone who has mastered it now wants to keep their secret, alternatively that it really doesn’t work, and all the hype we are bombarded with is simply snake-oil propaganda peddled by the social media industry.
Is there anyone out there who can provide real evidence to prove me wrong?