Measuring The Value Of Social Media Using Metrics
Measuring social media is parallel to measuring marketing. The CEO asks, “If I allocate headcount and budget for social media, am I going to see more sales?” Digital native in company replies, “Absolutely.” CEO snaps back, “Okay, quantify the ROI.”
Be careful what you promise … marketing is not sales. It does not result in sales, but rather increases the number of potential clients (qualified leads), and increases the probability of sales closure, while reducing sales cycle time.
Quantifying the value of marketing efforts must be specified in these functional areas, not in sales numbers. Yes, one can say that sales increased after a marketing campaign, but you can not attribute it 100% to the marketing campaign. There are other attributes that have likely changed prior to the start of the campaign such as new product release, new features, new channels, new sales team members, just to name a few, that worked in an integrated manner to increase sales.
In a traditional sense, marketing influences sales and generates leads. Prior to social media we would measure results such as the number of hits on a website, number of call-ins, and response to specific calls to action. In a social media context, we want to move potential customers along the "A-path." That is:
- We want to get their ATTENTION.
- We want to ATTRACT them.
- We want them to gain AFFINITY for us.
- We want them to be our AUDIENCE, regularly engaging with us.
- We want them to be our ADVOCATES – the greatest level to reach where
our customers provide positive referrals for us to their friends, colleagues,
So in a social media context, here are just some parameters that will indicate how well you are moving customers along the A-path:
- Amount of friends or followers a social media account has
- Using trackable URL’s when posting information/links to these social
- Amount of discussions generated within social media account pages
- Amount of video comments
- Amount of photo comments
- Amount of comments on profile page
- Amount of retweets a tweet gets
- Amount of downloads or installs an application or attachment has
- Amount of questions asked or answered on a site
- Size of your network
- Amount of fans your page has
These are a realistic set of attributes to quantify results of social media marketing.
Marketing professionals know the power of positive socialization of their product/service, and the catastrophic nature of negative socialization. This speaks directly to the value of social media marketing, but this may not be enough to see a company grow social media initiatives.
Likely, the company will need quantifiable ROI objectives and results. It will need to test what works and what does not work. And the social media manager will need to work to evolve the perception and growth of social media at the company by setting objective, realistic and measurable goals, and tracking the results. The reward will be greater commitment to social media initiatives in the company.
Steve Goldner (aka @socialsteve) is the author of SocialSteve's blog, and a social media marketing consultant helping brands strengthen their online visibility and following while increasing their qualified leads.
Article Source: SocialSteve's Blog