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What IS the ROI on my Social Media Campaign?

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You’ve set up a Facebook page, joined groups on LinkedIn, linked your website to a Google+ page and added your Google Authorship badge to your site, your Pinterest account is covered in photos of happy customers, infographics and videos that link back to YouTube and your website. Now what?

First take a look at this infographic from Huffington Post…I’ll give you a minute…Wow, that’s a lot of interaction that you can be part of, people you can reach.Doesn’t that mean you’re sure to get some kind of return on the investment? Remember that the return you’re looking for with social media is website search-ability, brand recognition, traffic boost, conversions and halo affect (in short your reputation).

But here’s the really tricky part. According to one recent survey, 49% of the Chief Marketing Officers who responded said they are unable to quantify any difference to their business from social media. Only 15% said they could see a quantitative effect. Why is it so hard to know exactly what return we’re getting from a social media campaign? The same reason it’s hard to know return from a television or newspaper ad campaign: unless you include a unique trigger (“Tell ‘em Bob sent you to get 10% off”), you can’t know how a customer heard about you without directly asking them.
Don’t let that scare you away from using social media for your business, though. There are ways you can measure the results of your social campaign; you just need to know what you want to measure. Like any other aspect of business, you need to set goals (say it with me now, business majors: goals are measureable, specific, and time dependent) and have a strategy for how those goals will be reached.
For example, there is this wonderful tool out there called Klout. Klout measures your brand or company’s presence and influence on the internet (aka, brand awareness). So, you could make a goal about raising your company’s brand awareness through social media. “Our goal is to increase our Klout by [ ] % for the month of [ ]. We will accomplish this by increasing tweets by [ ] per day.” See, a specific, measurable, time dependent goal and a strategy for accomplishing it.

But to really track what is working and what is not, take some time to set up your own monitoring system. Find out what works for your business and pay attention to your followers.  Social Media Examiner posts an excellent strategy for tracking what works and what doesn’t.

 


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