Social Media ROI – The Metrics
When it comes to establishing social media ROI (return on investment), it has never been easier to track who reads, share, comments, likes and views your content. Indeed the problem nowadays is not that there is too little data but too much. It’s all too easy get confused by the huge range of data that is available and end up tracking the wrong things or nothing at all.
The key to a good social media campaign is understanding what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. If you’re looking to achieve a good social media ROI then it’s essential that you’re tracking the right metrics. As a general rule try to steer clear of view counts, follower numbers and number of likes as these things are (with some exceptions) vanity metrics. It doesn’t matter that 1,000,000 people have seen your marketing video if none of them went on to buy your product!
What should you be asking?
When you set out on a social media campaign it is vital that you ask yourself what you want to achieve. Are you hoping to sell more products, generate new leads, build useful business networks that will result in referrals? You need to have a goal in mind when you launch your social media campaign or you’ll never know whether or not you have succeeded. More importantly, it should be a relevant goal that your social media activity can deliver in the entire sales and marketing mix. It isn’t always sensible to task your social media marketing to deliver 20 new sales next month – it might well be sensible to expect it to deliver 60 leads, however, if you know that your conversion rate is 1 in 3, once the sales team get a qualified lead…
Consumption metrics like view counts do have their uses. They are most useful when you use then to establish how effective your campaign is. If 1,000 people watched your video but only one bought the product then you have a very low conversion rate of only 0.1% and there’s something wrong with your campaign. It may be that your landing page is poor, that the wrong people are watching your video or one of any other factors. Whatever it is, the consumption metrics help you know that there is a problem and that you need to take action.
It’s crucial not to become obsessed with your consumption metrics when tracking social media ROI . You need to see them as just one small part of the jigsaw which will establish whether your social media campaign is successful in generating the right sort of input into your business. Data from consumption measures may also highlight where there may be issues in other places in your business. What happens as the leads that social generates move along the rest of your sales funnel? Do you know how to ask the right sort of questions to identify any potential sticking points?
Again these can be vanity metrics if you’re not picky about who is sharing the content – but they are generally a better signal than consumption metrics alone. Generally, if someone decides to share your content it is worth sharing – and you’re doing a good job. However, it’s still crucial to consider exactly who is sharing your content and who sees it as a result.
If it’s being shared by influencers in your industry then fantastic – they’re getting the right people to watch it. If on the other hand it’s being shared by random 14 year olds in Colombia then you might want to re-think your strategy.
Now we’re talking! These are crucial. How are your social media posts generating business. You need to have a clear, defined path for people to take after they have seen your social media posts? Do they click a link? Do they send an email? Do they make a phone call? You need to know what action you expect people to take after seeing your posts and understand how you know if they have or not. Only then will you have good metrics that help you improve your marketing.
These are also critical. Is your social media activity driving sales? In many cases this will be the key way you measure social media ROI. How do you know which sales were generated by social media and how are you tracking them? What is the path from your social media feeds to a sale and how do you help people to make their way along those paths? Once that’s happening, how do you improve conversion rates? We look at these sort of metrics every day – they apply just as keenly in your adwords and PPC campaigns so it’s key that you’re thinking clearly about your prospects’ path to purchase.
Our digital marketing scientists breathe social media ROI every day. You can contact us and we’ll set them straight to work on a plan to boost social media ROI and PPC ROI for your business.