SMM & ROI
Social media marketing is notoriously difficult to measure ROI (return on investment). In a recent blog post, a Toronto-based small business owner mentioned this. She was frustrated at how much time it took her to update her Facebook page and write blog posts. She also mentioned that Twitter was the only thing she could keep up with, and she had stopped using it completely.
She was basically saying the same thing that many others have said, “Is it worth all this effort?” How can I find out what I get from my efforts at SMM?
Econsultancy recently asked the same question. It noted the remarkable rise in popularity of social media marketing igpanel likes and that many companies don’t know how to calculate the ROI of their SMM. 49% of respondents said they didn’t know if their campaigns had been successful. 60% also felt they weren’t tracking ROI as well.
Oliver Feakins, a writer, recently compared igpane with trade shows. Because there wasn’t a way to accurately measure ROI, marketers used to struggle to justify trade shows attendance. The same is true for SMM, he says. It is difficult to quantify because the goal is “viral exposure” of your business. He asks the million-dollar question: “So, how do you measure the process for generating buzz?”
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your SMM campaign
Can you help a Toronto business owner that wants to know if her SMM efforts are paying off? The short answer is yes. Experts will tell you that there is no way to measure the ROI of social networks, but there are methods to do so. Here is a summary of key points from many blogs and websites that have considered the ROI of SMM.
First, list your goals. Are you looking to build a better relationship with your customers? Are you looking to improve brand visibility and increase traffic to your website? You can almost guarantee that you will find a way to achieve your goals once you have identified the objectives.
Remember, second, that SMM takes time, just like SEO. You should allow your campaign to develop before you attempt to measure its success.
Third, benchmark. Third, benchmark. Get data from the time period before you begin your social media marketing campaign so you can compare them. Econsultancy notes that you can track your Twitter followers and Facebook fan count. To see if your SMM is driving those numbers up, you can also track your current search engine ranking. You should also measure your website traffic in order to compare the “pre” and “post” periods.
Some websites, such as Mashable, refer to online tools that can be used to collect relevant statistics about the popularity of your content. These tools include AideRSS and Feedburner as well as Google Analytics. Technorati also allows you to monitor who links to you.