So, you’ve set up your Facebook, you’re building up a twitter following and you’re publishing interesting blogs. Now what?
One of the biggest talking points in the social media world right now is ROI, or showing a return on investment.
It’s certainly a tough question – a recent study showed that companies are still struggling to understand the impact of social media on their bottom line.
With that in mind we’ve come up with five top tips for measuring your social media ROI:
1) Measure how much it costs your business
Unfortunately social media is not free – sure it’s free to use and set up, but costs certainly mount up when you think about the time taken to manage the accounts, engage with friends and followers, write new articles, come up with creative ideas and respond to enquiries. Set up a monthly spreadsheet and total up how much time it takes you to manage the account efficiently. This should help you work out how much social media physically costs your business on a monthly and yearly basis.
2) Then see how revenue it brings in…
The aim of every business is to make money. If you’re doing social media right, you should be able to track how much revenue it brings you in terms of sales, leads or new customer enquiries. Don’t be down heartened if this is low to begin with, it takes time to build up brand awareness and trust. With any luck your social media efforts driving traffic to your website will lead to increased revenue as time goes on.
3) Get that landing page right
Everything that happens on a landing page can be measured through Google Analytics. Whether that’s how many direct referrals you got from Facebook, how many Twitter followers signed up for your newsletter, or just how long they spent reading your blog. These (somewhat dry) traffic measures will give you a clue as to just how effective your social media efforts are – the more people you can direct to your website, the better.
4) Measure your reach and influence
Although some social media experts claim that the number of fans and followers you have isn’t important, I would disagree. Sure, quality engagement is important, but it’s a fundamental fact that the more people that you can reach, the greater chance the awareness of your brand will be increased and that your message will be heard.
Facebook’s Insights Tool goes one step further and gives you friends of fans figure and tells you how many people are talking about you. Total up how many fans and followers you have on a weekly basis, how many times you’re mentioned and how many times you’re re-tweeted – the more, the better.
5) Content is king
Creating engaging content is king with social media. Convincing someone to visit your website is only part of the battle, keeping their attention and encouraging them to share it with their friends is the real game-changer. Whatever content you create, be it a blog, a piece of news or a helpful guide, keep it fresh and interesting. Use keywords gleaned from Google to ensure it appears in search for years to come, and be sure to install widgets to allow for easy sharing – this will let you track how many times it’s shared.
To sum up…
These measures should give you a good starting point when measuring your ROI through social media. But remember, ROI is not all about money. Social media is about building new relationships, generating word of mouth marketing, and strengthening brand loyalty with your customers – can you really put a price on that?