FALSE…Social Media Consultants are often unproven and can’t show ROI. Thankfully, we can break it down for you.
- Not every benefit of Social Media is trackable…ACCEPT IT.
- That which is trackable, is easy to track…you just need to know what you’re doing.
Let’s start with the first part. Social Media is…SOCIAL. That means that it’s about people talking. If I tell you about my new Puma sneakers on Facebook, you go to Google and type “Men’s Puma Roma Sneakers,” Social Media isn’t getting credit. I told you about it on Social Media, but Google gets credit. Don’t be so linear in your thinking. Social Media can provide a tremendous amount of reach and subsequent brand awareness as people can amplify their word of mouth from one-to-one, to one-to-many. Social Media can influence buying behaviors but it’s not always measurable…sorry.
The second part is that, in some cases, it is measurable, and ROI is a simple formula. We’re well aware of how it works. We even wrote a blog post about it. Here’s when it is distinctly measurable:
- If you sell something that can be purchased on a website.
- If you have the ability to track the referring source of that transaction.
What we’re saying is you need your website analytics to track from the source of how someone got to your website all the way through until a purchase is completed. Next you need to be able (and willing) to track the expense associated with getting that person from the social media site to your website. This means calculating the salary of the individual accountable for managing your community and posting content, and tracking the cost of creating any content being posted to the social site. If you can track two things ACCURATELY, you can track ROI. As for whether or not it’s proven, you can find stats to support both sides of it. But when a giant portion of the potential benefits are impossible to measure, it’s hard to trust the stats. In our world, we work to make everything as measurable as possible, and we use all of these tools strategically to generate proven results.
“The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years.” – Erik Qualman