- Are you thinking about allocating some of your marketing budget and time to social media but are now questioning how you can justify such a decision?
- Can you actually get or measure a ROI (Return on Investment) with social media?
It is commonly argued that there is no ROI on social media yet this is not actually true.
Effective social media campaigns do have an impact on your brand and subsequent sales but to measure the impact you need to decide, establish and set up ‘KPIs’ which you can measure your campaign against .
You can decide on a list of ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPIs) which best suit your business but below are a few examples of social media relevant KPIs which you may choose to use:
- How many visitors/followers came from Facebook, Twitter or even LinkedIn to your company’s website?
- How many of your Facebook posts were shared?
- How many Twitter users interacted with you?
- How many people recommended your company or product during topical discussions on LinkedIn?
- How many people have bought your product/service as a result of seeing one/some of your social media posts or even post which talk about your product/service (posted by other people)?
- How many blog references are made about your products and how many views have these blogs had?
- How many product/service reviews appear on social media sites about your product/services including snippets where the main review is on an actual website?
Once you have decided on the KPIs which are most relevant to your business you can then start to measure them. There are many tools available to enable you to do this;
- ‘Google analytics’ is by far the best tool out there for measuring website traffic. It’s a free, user-friendly tool that will help you measure conversion rates on your website. It can provide basic demographics and does give indications of which social media platforms are performing better in directing traffic to your website. The Google Analytics social media reports also have their own conversion and sharing reports which can be produced based on standard, Google-defined criteria or based on your specific custom based criteria which may be more suited to your own business focus.
- Manual Reporting using Excel Tools – By keeping a note, recorded in an excel report or database programme of new contacts made via LinkedIn or Twitter which is updated to record interaction and sales, you can then track and record how many of these contacts converted. The number of Twitter followers and Facebook ‘Likes’ is not a true indication of social media success; there has to be some sort interaction with or about the product or services as well.
- Have a strong sales funnel this is the journey of a lead from the discovery stage about your product/service (this is where your initial post and pages on Facebook and Twitter are really important) right through to the realisation a person/company may actually want your product/service to them actually buying your product and service. You need to predict how many initial hits/followers/likes you need to get a reasonable number of interested parties which will then lead to the required or acceptable number of actual sales. You need to ensure that your other marketing channels such as your website, have a strong call to action that will lead them to make the buying decision e.g. registering their email address, signing up for a free trial etc…
- Use the various social media platforms’ own tools available to you and when not readily available, make the most of what you have. Whilst Facebook has a very sophisticated and user-friendly analytics of its own called ‘Facebook Insights’, Twitter doesn’t. This means for Twitter you have to do your own analysis or look for tools which others have written (such as http://commun.it/) to convert the information you have from twitter into informative ROI statistics.
You will now have the criteria and tools to measure your social Media activities’ ROI. As social media itself develops so too will your KPIs, results and social media platforms and sources. Treat measuring social media ROI as a moving (not fixed) criteria which can and should be reviewed on a regular basis.