The Riddle of Measuring Social Media’s ROI
The marketing community appears flummoxed over the challenge of
measuring ROI around social media efforts, especially since most exchanges
directly linked to an actual purchase.
Beyond counting tweets and Facebook
fans tied to URL visits, the task involves determining the brand value of each
communication — some highly positive, some highly negative and most somewhere
in-between. Communications are also spreading well-beyond marketing and customer-service
reps. According to an article in The
Wall Street Journal, "social media brings a host of new problems,
such as how to measure communications and keep employees on message — and
in legal compliance."
But like many other articles on the subject, the Journal’s wound
up touting the value of trying to measure social media campaigns.
"If a company is going to engage in social media, they have to listen
and understand the nature of the conversation, the volume and the topics
being discussed," Susan
Etlinger, at Altimeter Group, told the Journal.
Writing in Mediapost.com,
David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media & innovation for digital
marketing agency 360i, came up with 100
Ways To Measure Social Media. His first five:
- Volume of consumer-created buzz for a brand based on number of posts;
- Amount of buzz based on number of impressions;
- Shift in buzz over time;
- Buzz by time of day/daypart;
- Seasonality of buzz.
A study by ForeSee Results also favorably found that 18 percent of website
visitors indicated that social media content — such as a Tweet or a friend’s
comment on Facebook — prompted a visit to a URL, although less than one percent
of website visits came directly from a link on a social media page.
"We ask people,
‘What influenced your visit to this website?’ and then we give them a list
of choices. We ask about primary, secondary, and tertiary influences so we
are able to get a good sense of what kinds of marketing activities have the
most impact. If someone ‘likes’ Best Buy on Facebook and sees
that there is a sale on TVs and then types www.bestbuy.com into their browser
and clicks through a Google ad, Best Buy will register that as an SEO win rather
than a social media win," Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee, told Information
He adds, "We feel it’s very important to have behavioral data — like
where they came from — in addition to attitudinal data — what influenced
them, what satisfies them, etc."
Dexter Bustarde, senior web analyst at Digitaria,
told mashable.com that
he sees social media measurement evolving into more distinct practices.
"Depending on who you ask, social media measurement could mean anything
from PR and reputation management to Twitter reports to broad ‘engagement’
measurement to looking at Facebook Insights day to day," said Mr. Bustarde. "In
truth, all of those things should inform a social media measurement program,
but at the same time, if we’re talking standardization, it’s a
lot of work to get it all under one umbrella."
- Are You Talking to Me? – The Wall Street Journal
- 100 Ways To Measure Social Media – Media Post
- Social Media Influences Website Traffic Indirectly – Information
- How the Pros Measure Social Media Marketing Success – Mashable
- Social Media ROI: ROI Doesn’t Stand For Return On Ignorance – Fast
- Why Social Media Analytics are Bullsh*t – business2community.com
- Forget Social Media ROI – clickz.com
Discussion Questions: How should ROI around social media be measured? How important is measuring ROI for brands or retailer’s social media efforts?