Social ROI Ideas to measure your social media return on investment

Social ROI is important to measure, how should you do it?

Social Media can soak up huge amounts of time and other resource. If there is no return on investment for your social media activities, why are you doing them?

If what you’re doing isn’t working, stop – seems sensible. Why then do so few professionals measure the effectiveness of their social media campaign?

In many firms there’s a belief that if it’s important it must be measured; then there’s social media. Some firms don’t do Social Media it as they don’t think it works; others make huge efforts and don’t measure the effectiveness of this networking.

What is Social ROI

Your Social ROI is your return on investment for your Social Media activities. Whether you’re paying somebody to tweet for you or spending your own time, there is an investment. If there is no return, you need to change what you’re doing!

Why don’t people measure Social ROI

I’ve spoken to many professionals in small firms and much larger ones. For some it’s a dislike of measurement generally, they don’t even have any KPIs for their firm.

The majority see nothing worthwhile to measure, or started to look at “followers”, realised it was pointless, then stopped measuring anything.

Why don’t people measure social ROI? I guess it’s because they’ve not found a measure that’s relatively simple and useful (enables change).

4 ideas to help you measure Social ROI

  1. Change over time: What you measure will vary as your competence and strategy changes.  When just starting on Twitter seeing the followers change daily may be highly relevant. For a firm with 3,000 followers, it’s probably irrelevant.
  2. Activities: What things, or how many of what things are you doing? If I were starting to diet (and yes I need to), measuring the number of carrots I ate each day / hour might be relevant. Activities are good as they help us to focus on changing a habit. How many tweets have you done today, how many RTs have you done, how many…… What activities are you doing to try and change things, do you measure them?
  3. Outputs: What is the output from your activity? As you begin to do more, and more activities you can expect to see something happening as a result. Output measures might be web traffic, sales as a result of, newsletter signups, decreased sales conversion time, increased number of referrals….. What might you measure?
  4. Quantitative? Does the “measurement” have to be a number? One firm I know test the feeling amongst partners regarding social media, how do you feel about it? You might even ask yourself how easy you’re finding it to do, as you get more proficient it takes less time….. These measures will probably be superseded, but initially you’re trying to get a habit going in the firm. But then you might move to the quality of your network and the referrals generated?

Measuring Social ROI

Measuring Social ROI – The catch

It’s all irrelevant. Deciding what / how to measure social ROI and spending time on it is not possible unless you know what you’re trying to achieve in the first place. What are your objectives and your strategy? Now you can consider some relevant measures. Would you jump in the car and head off, without knowing where you’re going? Yes, but only if it’s for fun!

The measures are also irrelevant unless they show you where you need to change what you’re doing. It’s pointless me measuring what the social traffic on my website is doing, unless I have a way of changing what it does – or know what I want it to do.

If there are no sensible measures for you, is it because you’re not ready for social media yet?

What do you measure? How do you measure your Social ROI?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Networking is a key part of getting great results in small firms. If you want great networking tips sent to your desk once a month, click here and I will start sending them to you, so you can make a real difference to your referrals.