Despite being around for quite a few years, the widespread adoption of social media by companies and brands into their communications mix is still in its infancy, and while the results of a successful social media campaign might appear to be relatively intangible, they nevertheless exist and can be measured.
Visitor numbers, percentage of comments per article, number of referrals are just some of the metrics to prove a campaign has substance.
Essentially, a social media campaign, by which we mean actual conversations and relationship building exercises, and not widgets or non-strategic Facebook pages, is more aligned with the goals of a PR program than it is with marketing.
With that in mind, here are a few ways to consider measuring social media ROI for your business:
First, determine what you want to measure, whether it’s corporate reputation, conversations or customer relationships.
For example, if the objective is to measure ROI for conversations, you can start creating benchmarks by asking yourselves questions like:
- Are we currently part of the conversations about our product/industry?
- Are we mentioned?
- How are we currently talked about versus our competitors?
Then to measure success, set yourself deadlines and ask whether you were able to:
- Build better relationships with your key audiences?
- Participate in conversations where you hadn’t previously had a voice?
- Move from a running monologue to a meaningful dialogue with customers?
If the objective is just to measure traffic or Search Engine ranking, you can take a more quantitative approach using Google Analytics and other analysis tools to provide visitor numbers, geographical origins and referral sites, in order to understand which are the most popular posts, keyword optimization and additional trends.
Regardless of how your company chooses to measure engagement, it is essential to have a success metric in mind before you begin because without defining some sort of benchmark, it’s impossible to determine your ROI.
Thoughts? How do you set KPI’s and measure results?