Social ROI - How to Measure your Success
Going from Guesses to Quantitative Answers.
Boosting page likes on Facebook or building bigger audiences on Instagram may feel like success but it doesn't necessarily correlate with actual bottom line growth in your company, lower costs, or build you a stronger brand.
So how do you find the perfect metric that can tell you if any of the above is actually happening? You can look at a lot of different metrics - engagement rate, likes, comments, conversion rate - but the core challenge is that it's tough to connect social metrics to a definable increase in revenue. But not impossible.
If you can't show the value social adds to your business and brand results, you're definitely at a disadvantage.
Most social teams still struggle to know where to spend their time on social and what metrics they should be measuring, however, the best answer to 'how do determine social ROI' is in asking better questions.
In order to solve the ROI conundrum, you first need to be clear about what you want to achieve with your social media strategy.
What business challenges do you want social to help solve?
How will you map your business objectives to social KPI's?
Did you hit your quarterly business goals and if so, what contribution did social make to it?
Once you have answered these questions, then we can move on to these three steps to help you effectively measure the benefit that social media is having on your business.
These steps are:
Let's look at them more closely.
1. Define. What do you want social to solve for your business?
Be very clear that social needs to help solve some tangible business challenges for you - things like:
Lowering operational costs
Differentiating your brand
Increasing operational efficiencies
Increasing customer interaction and satisfaction
Once you have the answers defined by priority, then you need to map your social KPI's (see a full list of KPI's to look for) to those business objectives. A lot of the time businesses will define their KPI's before they determine what they are trying to achieve which renders the KPI's useless in terms of actionable insights.
2. Measure. Is social moving you towards your business targets?
At this point, you need to set targets for the social activity and then start tracking these targets against the goals. Ensure that these goals are time-bound with clear targets. An example might be that you want to have 100 people attend your webinar - you can easily track where your attendees came from. If the goals is to reduce customer service costs, you can quantify call deflection cost savings by answering questions and sharing on social and then correlating the two by looking at the numbers.
Because your KPI's are mapped to your business objectives, it will be fairly easy to keep your eye on the success rate. If your sales have slipped for instance and yet your traffic is up on your Facebook page, you can see that the social tactics and your business objectives have become disconnected. Refine your strategy at this point to get back on course.
3. Prove. Did you hit your business goals?
Now that you know what your business objectives are and you've mapped out your social metrics to those objectives, you can now properly measure their value. Frame your analysis with three questions:
Did you achieve your business goals?
What social tactics were successful in helping you achieve those goals?
If they weren't, how can you fine tune your social strategy to hit those goals moving forward?
Some things to consider as you go through the 3 steps of define, measure and improve.
You need to be tracking all aspects of your online activity, including using a tool like Google Analytics and UTM tracking parameters. A lot of the social channels have their own built in metrics but they will never give you the full picture of how traffic flows to your website or how a visitor becomes a client. This data is incredibly important. You need to understand both the big picture (what brings people to your website), and the small details (which specific content leads to product sales or other conversions).
And remember, if you ever need help with your social media marketing strategy, including implementing the above, don't be shy - reach out to us! We are here for you.