As worldwide social media use continues to rise, social media budgets are rising as well. More spending means more responsibility and more expected return on investment. ROI has always been in question when spending on social media, but even more in today’s economy. According to eMarketer establishing measurements for ROI tops the list of social strategy goals in 2011.
How do we measure social media ROI and what strategies help us reach that return? That question is answered differently by brands, small businesses, and agencies. By looking at how we use social media, we can build some basic metrics for measurement: Revenue, Knowledge, Protection.
Revenue: Social Commerce and Location-Based Services
Just look at how social commerce grew in 2010 and it’s hard to dispute how social media can directly provide ROI and even become an integral part of your business. Most importantly, you’ll recognize social commerce (purchasing direct from social media platforms) can directly reflect how well your brand engages consumers and positions itself on social media. This proves that revenue can now be a key indicator of an effective campaign, even in social media.
Location-based services continue to prove a great tool for driving in-store traffic that may otherwise walk right by, and if they are utilizing a check-in deal/coupon, tracking those sales becomes much simpler than measuring brand awareness through social media.
Knowledge: Consumer Insights and Competitive Intelligence
According to a MarketingProfs study, 80% of CMO’s reported customer suggestions help shape product decisions. This means that gaining a better understanding of your consumers, competitors and your market is one of the safest bets for social media ROI.
By listening to your consumers through social media you can gain insight into their wants and needs, informing your product innovation and marketing campaigns. Through listening to your industry broadly, you can uncover industry trends as well as glean an immense amount of competitive intelligence.
Leveraging social media for market research is often less costly than traditional market research. Additionally, the leveraging identifies shifts in trends earlier, and can span across the entire enterprise providing a return on investment all departments can see.
Protection: Brand Monitoring and Threat Awareness
Brand monitoring continues to top the list of must-haves for social media strategists in 2011, but is it enough? Having a brand monitoring dashboard is essential for brands, but does it solve a problem if no one is looking at it? There is no ROI in data, it’s all in how you use it. Having the expert manpower and a sound brand monitoring & threat tracking strategy is just as important as the technology behind it.
What should you be looking for? Customer complaints, mentions in online and news media, employee activity, and of course videos in reference to the brand. We all know how fast news in social media can spread and if you’re not actively monitoring your brand, there’s a good chance that a large portion of your customers will be aware of an incident before you are. Don’t just get a dashboard, develop a brand monitoring and threat tracking strategy to actively monitor your brand.
Where are you searching for ROI when it comes to social media? Is it all about building brand awareness or does revenue reign supreme now that monetizing social media is becoming more achievable?