You can’t measure the ROI of social media!
We’re hearing a lot of that these days from executives who don’t get it. They expect social media to be as measurable as traditional marketing techniques, but you simply can’t use the same metrics in this situation.
1. Let the idea of Return on INVESTMENT go
If you want to get to the heart of your social media campaign’s success, you have to let go of the idea that you can measure dollar for dollar the return you get. People read tweets, but they don’t always go out and buy. Sometimes it’s about brand awareness, and after reading 20 tweets and seeing a company’s logo on their friends’ Facebook pages, they’ll finally visit the website and buy. It’s simply not linear.
2. Look at engagement
Brian Solis recommends rather than looking at return on investment, we look at return on engagement, among other forms of measurement. You can have two Twitter accounts, both with 1,000 followers, with totally different engagement levels.
One might simply churn out a feed of prewritten tweets linking to its site. You’ll see minimum engagement, because people don’t respond to autotweets.
The other might have comments targeted to specific Twitter users, retweets of useful blog posts and questions that spur response. This one has the higher engagement level. Engagement = curiosity about your brand.
3. What kind of retweets/reposts are you getting?
If you’re genuinely posting useful articles, blog posts and comments, others will share them. Focus on value and knowing your audience. If your followers are business owners, they likely won’t retweet your Funny Cat Videos post like they would one on the Top 10 Free Marketing Tools.
4. Clicks lead to sales
Naturally, your goal is to get social media followers to your website so they can purchase from you or call for more information. The higher the number of targeted followers you have on Google +, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, the more people will click to your site.
Notice I said targeted followers. That means that your strategy of following any and every Twitter user won’t do you a lot of good. Instead, spend the time to connect with people in your field or who fit your customer demographic. You’ll see better results across the board if you do.
5. Are people telling others about you?
Getting people to respond to you via social media is nice, but it stays in the bubble if they don’t tell others how great you are. By monitoring who’s talking about your brand online, you can get a better sense of how successful your brand reputation is.
If they’re saying negative things, use this opportunity to interact publicly to address the issue.
There’s still no cut and dry formula for measuring social media success. But neither is there a way to measure whether a radio listener goes out and buys the product after hearing a commercial. Or after seeing a billboard. Focus on creating the most value and interacting with your customers, and you’ll see results.