Monday, June 18, 2012

How difficult is it to measure ROI for social media?

  • Social Media is a channel to reach an audience that is on the internet.
  • It is no different asking what is the ROI for using radio, or television, or newspapers to reach an audience.
  • Like other communication channels, to determine an ROI, you need to think carefully about the audience that you are trying to reach: are they using social media? It is important to understand how they are using it and identify what social channel they are using.
  • The top social media benefits are driven by having a clear problem that you are trying to solve with a desired outcome.
  • Social media can be easily measured using many metrics if you know:
  • the audience that you want to reach,
  • how you will reach them (i.e.: where are they),
  • the type of conversation that you want to have and how long you want to have it for,
  • your end posts, (goals/outcomes),
  • Metrics include: # of comments generated, # of retweets, length of the conversation, reach of the conversation (beyond NA borders, etc.).
  • Many organizations do not have the right social media measurement tools or are not clear on why they are using social media, so they do not secure a value outcome.
  • ROI is NOT difficult to measure in highly targeted social media campaigns that sell specific products as they are driven by a specific goal, incentives, guided conversations with expert moderators, and typically have strong tracking tools integrated.
  • However many organizations do not design a clear vision, develop a clear set of goals on why they are using social media, so often many organizations make the mistake of thinking social media is just the right thing to do without seriously understanding what the goals are, who you want to reach, where are they located, and why would they want to have a conversation with you, and more importantly why would they want to sustain the conversation with you.

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