When it comes to social marketing, measuring ROI is a tricky ticket. It can’t be measured in dollars and cents, which really freaks out the bean counters. Instead, your ROI must be gauged in terms of reputation, brand awareness and customer loyalty. Too many companies try to analyze their social marketing results through the narrow lens of an in-the-black bottom line and wind up making these three common mistakes.
Stuck in the Stats. The wrong ones anyway. The range of social media stats available to companies is staggering. You can analyze everything from how long a person is on your Facebook page to when is the best time to post fresh content. Guess what? No one cares, especially the people who matter most – your customers. The only stats you should be completely obsessing over are those that directly involve your customers: level of engagement, content sharing, conversation and customer service.
Focus on Volume Vs. Engagement. With social media, it’s not about quantity. That’s a tough concept for number crunchers to grasp. While you need Likes and RTs to keep things moving, you also need quality customers who push your brand forward not only just by their purchases, but by their engagement with your brand. Focus less on volume and more on engagement. Listen to your customers, read and respond to their comments, post fresh and relevant content that they want to share. Customers don’t care about your ROI; they care about themselves, price, unique experiences, and having fun, not necessarily in that order.
Put a Square Peg in a Round Hole. Social marketing requires retraining the brain in terms of what constitutes a sale. In the online world, the concept of a sale goes beyond credit card numbers. Contest entries, Likes, Follows, shared content, comments and positive word of mouth should all be lumped into the “Purchase History” category.
Finally, measuring social marketing ROI is about monitoring online activity; tracking your number of followers; and analyzing how often people share your content, review your products or post a comment. An increase in these numbers indicates consumer engagement and brand awareness; a decrease indicates a possible problem. If you still want a hard core bottom line, here it is: Focus on your customer, and the ROI will truck right along behind you.
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