For years you’ve heard that you can’t measure social media’s return on investment (ROI). I’m not sure if people say this to discount social media’s value or because they’re afraid to adapt to a new marketing model. Perhaps it’s a little of both.
Marketing Charts recently outlined a new report by the Platt Retail Institute, conducted in association with the American Marketing Association. The report compares marketers’ rankings of various channels’ budget allocations against the channels’ perceived importance and ROI. The study reveals that of the 11 channels identified, social media marketing ranks fourth in both current importance and ROI, but only ranks sixth in budget allocation.
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Scott Monty of Ford Social explained this on his blog:
“The study reveals there’s a mismatch between marketing budget and effectiveness in key areas. Two are mass media and customer support, which are being overspent on versus their return on investment. Alternatively, email and social are being underspent on while they have a more effective ROI.”
When you know more, you can do more. You can track social media’s ROI, but keep in mind that tracking is only the measurement of your efforts’ results. You must be able to tie those results back to your objectives to get a real return on investment.
The following are Facebook objectives and results that I track weekly at my company, Kruse Control:
1. Community growth: the number of likes
This metric shows how your page is growing. You can tie it in with the Facebook ad budget.
2. Engagement: the number of likes, comments and shares
Content is what drives your social media success. When you track how your audience receives the content, you get smarter about what to post in the future.
3. Total reach: the number of people who viewed your content
This is another metric you can tie to your Facebook ad spend. Facebook now allows you to pay to reach more people. As a Facebook marketer I’m glad to have this available to me.
4. Popular posts: The posts that got the highest engagement
This is a useful metric for content curation. As marketers, we use our best guesses as to what our audiences are looking for. Keeping track of your most popular posts allows you to give your audience more of what it likes.
I have a client who shares a lot of content around a certain female service advisor, Mackenzie. She’s well-known in the community and has a bubbly, enthusiastic personality. Posts with Mackenzie get off-the-chart engagement.
5. Budget spent: Facebook ads, software tools, design, etc.
Facebook is not free; you have to pay to play. If you want to increase your reach, you need a budget for ads. Beyond an ad budget, you’ll need money for software monitoring tools, scheduling software, photos and graphic design. Since it is actual money spent, this is the easiest one to track.
6. Leads: the number of leads generated
This is the golden ring, folks. There are two types of leads from Facebook: organic and traditional. Organic leads happen in the comment section of your posts. Share a special offer and many times someone will ask, “How long is this on for?” or “Do you service Nissans?” Be ready to answer questions, and pose another one to keep the person engaged.
The traditional type of lead comes from a more proactive approach. It involves the strategic use of Facebook ads that click through to specific landing pages. There are thousands of ways to use this tactic-it all ties back to your objectives and the results you want.
7. Sales: the number of sales closed
Your social media manager will spot organic leads intimately. He or she will have had conversations with the lead for months. When you run more traditional campaigns with landing pages, it’s helpful to have lead-tracking software to know who the leads were so you can follow up.