With the rising popularity in social media use among users and brands, social media measurement is becoming more and more important. Brands need to be focused on listening to their consumers in order to facilitate conversations with them, thats a given, but how do we accurately measure the return from social media campaigns. Its a tricky issue and In the IAB’s Social Business Survey conducted with LBi, 27% of business respondents didn’t know how social success was measured in their organisations. Only 17% of those polled measured the ROI on social initiatives.
In the current economic environment organisations will be looking more and more towards attributable sales. That is to say, which elements of their marketing campaigns were the most effective in leading to conversions.
Therefore, if you are proposing a paid social media campaign, and all social media campaign are effectively paid campaigns due to resources needed, it is vital to build in ROI metrics in order to obtain buy in.
The current trend in social media measurement is to measure:
- Reach – pageviews, followers, likes, subscribers and fans
- Actions – likes, shares and retweets
- Engagement – level of interaction, comments etc.
However, Reach can be further divided into:
- Exposure – visits, views etc
- Influence – share of voice, sentiment.
So now we know the metrics we need to measure ROI from a Social Media campaign, how do we actually go about it? The following info graphic details an effective strategy.
According to, Dilip Venkatachari, CEO of Compass Labs, when you are looking to build your social plans you need to consider the following metrics:
- Share of voice. How does your brand’s presence stack up against your competitive set in terms of not just audience size (number of fans, followers, pinners, etc.), but level of engagement? How engaged are your customers compared to your competitors? How many people are talking about your brand, in what context, and how frequently?
- Conversations. Are you having conversations with your customers? If not, you need to re-examine your content strategy – conversations put the “social” in social media. Stop speaking at your audience and start speaking with them. Creating dialogues will increase your brand affinity and begin to tip the revenue scales in your favor.
- Advocates. Do you have any “super fans” or “super followers”? If you do, are you leveraging their passion for your brand? If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to dial up your earned media and tap into extended audiences who may not use your brand today, but may now be compelled to try it, thanks to Aunt Susie’s glowing recommendation. These wonderful brand ambassadors may be among your fans, simply waiting for you to notice, engage, and activate them.
- Product guidance. Are you asking your customers questions to learn what they like or dislike about your product or service? Social provides marketers and enterprises access to a huge, free real-time focus group. Organizations need to leverage social networks to help guide product direction, because in the end it will you save your company from making timely and costly mistakes. Often you don’t even need to ask; simply listen. As an example, Lands’ End recently changed the zipper on one of its popular children’s jackets, and the comments about the poor quality of the new zipper were deafening in the social space. Lands’ End may not have asked, but I can’t imagine that it hasn’t heard the overwhelming response. I strongly suspect it will be bringing back the old zipper next year.
A social media strategy and its measurement then is more of a long term strategy rather than focusing on the immediate ROI.
We must remember to be proactive, listen and bring the conversations closer. And above all, be prepared for what you may discover!