Quantifying Return from Social Media

I read many blog posts extolling the virtues of using Social Media to market a business. However, for every one of those I read, there is another blog bemoaning the inability to measure ROI from Social Media investment.

No one will develop that eureka formula that gave companies an exact figure on what return they are getting from their Social Media campaigns. Social Media marketing is not SEO; it is not PPC; it leans more towards the PR side and you have to approach it differently.

That is not to say however that you cannot measure it in some way:

  • Test what type of tweets get the best response – retweets, click throughs etc.
  • Test sending out updates at different times of the day to see which ones get the best reaction.
  • YSee what Facebook updates generate the best discussions.
  • Best of all, run a special offer through a social network of your choice.

What you will not be able to do though is to say for certain that the record breaking deal you just got in would have materialised if the client had not already grasped an understanding of your company through your social media presence.

The way I like to look at Social Media is by comparing it to an employee in a non sales based role within a company that is dominated by sales people. Now, just because that individual cannot show on a spreadsheet exactly what revenue they have brought into the company, does not mean that they have not had an impact. They need to be judged on different criteria and valued for the work that they do, not compared to someone who consistently tops the sales board.

Businesses who do not value these employees enough are less likely to grow as quickly as their more alert counterparts. This is exactly the same with Social Media. Those who do not invest because they will not be able to see a conclusive report proving they made money from it are going to be left behind.

Get out there, get sociable and invest – it will pay off in the long run.