Are you wondering if measuring social media return on investment (ROI) is important?
Do you cringe when you think about putting together another report?
You aren’t alone. But times are changing for social media and these reasons will show you why it’s time to get serious about measuring your results.
Do I Really Need to Measure ROI?
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. Is ROI the right measure of success for social media?
There are many who would argue that a financial return doesn’t show the true value of social media for the organization. I would agree that ROI doesn’t paint the full picture.
However, the bottom line is that executives and business owners sleep, eat, and breathe ROI. It has been the measure of success since the beginning of their careers and while we can jump up and down and tell them it isn’t a complete picture, they aren’t going to believe it until they see it.
Do you struggle to accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) of your social media marketing?
You’re not alone. Several new research studies reveal that marketing managers are under increased pressure to show measurable results from their social media efforts.
But these same managers indicate that measuring the returns is one of their top two challenges for 2012.
Social media success sometimes appears arbitrary.
Perhaps you’ve wondered, “Why does company X generate leads and business from their social activity while my company wastes resources on blogs that don’t get read and tweets that go unanswered?”
Social media is so new, sometimes the path to success is unclear and it’s easy to lose your way.
In my prior Social Media Examiner article about Social Media return on investment (ROI), I discussed the financial definition of social media ROI.
This article goes a step deeper by working through a few examples of estimating the social media ROI.
Why Estimate a Return?
Before we go any further, let’s review why we need the social media return and ROI again.
You use the return and the ROI to compare the efficiency of marketing campaigns; for an in-house team, you can use these numbers to negotiate budgets with your management; for agencies, you can use estimated numbers to land prospective clients and to retain current clients. The numbers are used in conjunction with social and web metrics to analyze and optimize current and future campaigns.
Steve reviews the biggest changes in social media over the past 12 months. He also shares the latest social media trends and gives tips on what businesses should focus on in the future.
Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.
What Is Klout?
Klout calls itself the “measurement for your overall online influence,” but what are they really trying to do? To understand Klout’s goal, you have to understand influence itself and the difficulty in measuring social media ROI. In the beginning, social media was measured in followers and fans, and for a time, life was good.
But with companies joining social media sites by the tens of thousands, everyone got followed and eventually tricks, software and spam accounts ran wild. Newcomers were able to create large ‘followings’ and social media service clients couldn’t tell who was legitimate, and who had purchased a great ‘friend adder’ software program.
Social media return on investment (ROI) is simply a measurement of efficiency. It’s a lot of things to a lot of people: “return on inactivity,” “return on innovation” and “return on engagement.”
However, in a stricter sense, social media ROI is defined as a measure of the efficiency of a social media marketing campaign. This definition might sound complicated, but in reality, it’s quite simple.
The truth is there are dozens of viable metrics you can use to gauge the success of your social media efforts. The challenge isn’t measurability; it’s knowing which measures are meaningful.
Here are the 6 undervalued social media success metrics you should be tracking:
#1: Daily Story Feedback
Instead of just counting the number of Facebook “likes” you accrue, which signifies nothing more than digital bumper-stickering, track how often your fans click “like” and comment on the status updates you post.
If you’ve been using social media for a while and you’re still waiting for it to deliver positive revenue, here are some tips you can employ when your social media strategies are struggling to produce.
When you start any kind of social media activity, the ROI will probably be negative. Building revenue from social media activities takes time because you have to develop trust with your audience first.