With every digital marketing agency in the city providing the “Social Media Service” and with every business executive jumping on the bandwagon of what it means to be social, it’s ever more important to understand the true value of your social investment. The question is how do we measure if we have been successful?
Unfortunately, many companies get fixated on what I’d like to call the “like syndrome”. They want to be liked but they haven’t got a clue why and what to do once they have actually acquired a social media presence (somewhat like High School). Hence, it’s significant to align your social media goals with your business objectives. Once brands know what impact a particular social media campaign needs to have, it’s much easier to put metrics in place to measure them.
Social Media goals for a campaign could include Customer Service (UPS), PR Management (Louis Vuitton), Advertising (Old Spice), Sales (Dell), Business Intelligence (Zomato) and a Cross-Functional Experience (Starbucks).
Remember, these goals are not mutually exclusive, a campaign can run for several reasons, as long as you have communicated those reasons to the agency in charge.
Now did it work?
As suggested before social media can have multiple impacts on a business that go beyond financial value. If we quantify the effect of social media with a simple ROI formula based on monitored sales conversions with Google and Website Analytics, we are perhaps overlooking the broader change social media brings to an organization. But if your manager wants ROI, give him what he desires but remember you can give him even more:
Google Analytics and Website Analytics (landing pages) can give you conversion data, i.e. where did the sale, lead or subscription come from? Facebook Analytics can give you a demographic breakdown of reaching the right target audience, i.e. you can sum up your organic, paid and viral reach; you can also determine the engagement jumps of your audience since commencing a campaign via Facebook’s inbuilt page analytics. Tools like Social Mention, Social Oomph and Viral Heat can give you data on brand sentiment and where you truly stand in cyber space against your competitors. Klout can help you determining your overall social media score and if your content is being read, furthermore the same and Twitalyzer can help you identify influencers and key players in the industry that need to talk about your brand to further enhance your social presence.
Personally, I believe gathering data is the easy part (once you know where to look) but data is meaningless without analysis. For the social media campaign you are going to launch you must remember that all analytics are not relevant analytics. Not every social media platform is right for every brand.
Make sure you value the launch, implementation and success based on the CIO (Channel, Industry and Objective) mindset. Make sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses of a channel, for example, Facebook’s reach in India is already greater than that of the country’s biggest radio station, about five times that of its largest English newspaper, and roughly comparable to its top five TV networks. That alone coupled with in-built analytics make it a favorite for campaign launch, data collection and reporting. However, the industry matters too, the success of a campaign is determined by the right channel for an industry, Linkedin maybe the perfect choice because of it’s reach to B2B clients and educated professionals with geo and demographic targeting and availability of analytics within site. Finally, the objective which is what we started with also determines the manner in which we measure and report success: for a company with a negative reputation, they’d want to measure the change in sentiment post a campaign and not awareness alone and this can be easily done with a sentiment analysis before and after with Social Mention.
So, remember, objectify campaign, chose analytics to measure and determine the usefulness of the co-relation between of channel, industry and objective.