Setting up a Social Media campaign for your organization is not just a matter of creativity and good execution.but getting the measurement right for that successful campaign also play’s an important role. ROI in Social Media has been stereotyped as beyond your reach for too long. However the key in measuring ROI with Social Media is drawing out a comprehensive plan and focusing on only the numbers that make a real difference to the business and its goals, once these things are done it’s a very simple and straightforward process. Social Media is not a strategy and it’s not an end in itself. Like anything in business, it comes down to return on investment. So how do you find the right model for developing an ROI for social media? Is the big question most companies have before they decide to execute a Social Media Campaign. Here are some tips that should help you in deciding how to go about in measuring ROI for Social Media :

  1. Decide on your Targets: You may have different targets and each of those will require different measures. Are you looking for new prospects, sales lead generation or new product awareness? All these targets would require different measures from your end and the time frame for each of these to show results would also be different.
  2. Know What You Can Measure: Once the goals are decided the next step would be to identify what you can measure. If you understand the sorts of measurements each social media platform can provide to you, will be at advantage when using Social Media. For example Facebook – likes, impressions, demographics, sign ups, links clicked, purchases.  Twitter – followers, re-tweets, links clicked.  YouTube – plays, pauses, mutes, hot spots, stops, view time, full screens. Foursquare – check-ins, by time top users, gender breakdown, broadcasts to Twitter & Facebook
  3. Select Metrics: Once your targets are decided and you have decided what you can measure the next step would be going ahead and deciding what metrics to use. There are a lot of  metric available to measure however picking up the right metrics that suit the business well is the key rather than selecting too many and being overwhelming or doing unnecessary tracking. For example, if you’re trying to increase sales by getting more repeat business, tracking return visits to your site through Facebook and Twitter are great metrics to record.
  4. Who Will Measure: Once the first three steps are over the next step in place is to decide what measurements each person in the business should be taking, these could differ on your company strength and whether you want to do it in-house or via an external agency. For example you could have your Business Executives handle Business Metrics such as Revenue, C-sat and the Business Stake holders looking into various Social Media Analytics.
  5. Listen to Your Data: Once you start collecting your data it is important to analyze or listen to that data. .Social media requires you to make frequent adjustments and measure the effect of each change.For example get your customer service and community management teams to document instances where you had a delighted customer. This can help you in understanding what change made the difference. You need to have a strong feedback system in place if you really want to see the effect of Social Media on your product. It’s all about detecting trends and measuring what has changed to cause them.

If you are just starting out in social media you need to look at it as an investment, a long-term customer relationship builder when most people talk about ROI they expect an action then a result in a very short period of time. This isn’t the case with social media. You may not realize its full impact for years.

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