ROI and Social Media – The Awkward Date

Here at Geonetric, we’re constantly cooking up new and exciting ways for our clients to engage with their patients. These days that engagement conversation often turns to tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others.

You know – that social media stuff.

But along with generating creative ideas, we’re in love with measuring the tactics we use. Some might even call it an obsession.

Some Background

At the recent Social Brand 2012 Conference here in Iowa, presenter David B. Thomas took a stab at giving us some measurement tactics for social media.

Social media has always been the tough one to measure so I’m excited to share some of those tips. So, without further delay, here are six steps to measuring your social media efforts courtesy of David B. Thomas (but summarized by me):

  1.  Establish Your Goals – Simply posting wildly on social media won’t cut it. What would you like to see come out of your social media efforts? Certain Web traffic numbers? Event registrations?
  2. Tie to Organization Goals – Your social media goals should tie directly back to organizational goals. How do your efforts feed the overall goals of your organization?
  3. Establish Your Definition of ROI – ROI is difficult to define because everyone has a different explanation. How will your organization count your efforts on social media as a success? (Don’t copy your neighbor.)
  4. Focus on Campaigns – Social media is often part of a larger marketing campaign, so meshing the metrics between the two can be powerful. Use metrics from social media (such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics data) to assess the success of individual campaigns.
  5. Track Through Web Analytics – Always use Google Analytics (or your tool of choice) to assess inbound traffic sources (social media specifically) and determine which platforms give you the best traffic numbers.
  6. ROI = (Gain – Cost) / Cost – A simple formula that may work for some. Of course, you’ll have to define the “gain.”

Tools to Help

There are many great tools available to help you manage your social media measurement and see how your efforts are performing. They also help you manage your brand online and monitor the conversation going on about your brand

A couple candidates:

My Takeaway

In the end, ROI of social media continues to be a bit elusive. Since it does rely on your goals and your definition of success, I think there is room for you to develop your own definition of ROI for social media and then how you’ll measure it.

Know what you want to measure (followers? fans? social reach?) and set up the tools to measure your success against those metrics.

And measurement? Well, that just makes us Geonetric folks grin from ear-to-ear. And we’re here if you need a little help getting there.

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This entry was posted in ROI, Social Media, Tradeshow/Conference by Casey Hansen. Bookmark the permalink.
Casey Hansen

About Casey Hansen

Casey possesses extensive social media experience and expertly monitors trends in healthcare social media usage. He uses his industry insight and creative ideas to help Geonetric clients create social media strategies that increase brand awareness and improve loyalty. In addition, Casey also works with clients to develop customized search engine optimization services and search engine marketing campaigns. He reviews analytics and helps clients understand the impact social media, SEO, and SEM have on their overall online marketing efforts.

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