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8 Ways to Measure Social Media ROI

Posted January 14th, 2013 in Online Reputation Management, ORM, Social Listening by Gordon Geldenhuys


The world is changing. Customers are more connected than ever. Customers are turning to online to share their experience about brands, products & services. They’re turning to their devices, smartphones & tablets to share real world experiences, in HD, in Video, in an instant and the whole world is there to see. Its a fluid & ongoing conversation. Social Data, whether structured or unstructured, passing through communities, being enriched, evolving and being heard. This is a space brands fear. Fear for the unknown. Fear for the unpredictability and lack of control. The game has changed. The customer  now controls the message. The customer is the medium and brands are no longer the voice.

Although many South African have started up their own social practices, employed their own versions of social experts, or as I like to call it the social ‘guru’s’ or ‘ninja’s’, the vast majority still lack the ability to effectively measure social. They lack the ability to tie social media to business outcomes. They lack tracking tools. They apply misleading measures such as Advertising Value Equivalent or AVE’s to their view of social. The problem is compounded by the different screens a average customer engages on, as well as the myriad of platforms they choose to engage in. There’s no holistic view of social data and there’s no measure for it.


Say NO to Social Media AVE


Social Media is a conversation between people, people that have relationships and share their thoughts, opinions and feelings. There’s no ‘cost’ to base an AVE value on. You cant place a Rand value on one relationship above another, nor value an opinion, thought or feeling. So how do companies start understand the value of social to them?


Here are 8 Strategies one could adopt:-

1. Modelling – Find a specific or unique example of a social media event influencing a sale or goal achieved. So rare gems such as customer buying your product coming accorss it via social

2. Cost Reductions – By disseminating information and providing support via social media, reduces the impact on inbound calls, emails & queries through to other inbound channels. An accepted multiple of 10x can be applied to the deflected costs. So if its costs R75 per call to resolve a query through your call centre, a social query could solve at least 10x others of the same type and deflect 10 calls, resulting on a cost saving of R750.

3. Correlation – On signup/acquisition campaigns, compare conversation rates & success rates to social. Assuming 1 in 10 clicks, 1 in 10 inbound calls, or 1 in 10 prospects result in applicants/respondants to the campaign, you can apply this to engagements via social and work out an ROI based on a similar metric.

4. A/B Testing – Try determine success factors for a social group of customers vs a similar set of offline customers. The difference will indicate the affinity your social group of customers have towards your products and can probably indicate the difference in purchasing power.

5. Click Tracking – there are social media suites built that automatically tag your links, and when tracking script is placed on key pages of your digital properties, activity can be tracked against your web goals and value’s applied. This is evident with ecommerce clients where interactions can result in direct purchases.

6. Customer Health – What is the value of an average customer to your organisation? By servicing your customers via social

7. Media costs comparison – what does it cost, per unique reach, to reach a person via any other channel (TV, Radio, Print). Its possible to take your traditional (or Digital Spend) and apply this against the reach it attains to understand the cost per reach for your brand. You can apply this now against the cost per reach of a social mention.

8. Business Process Management – Create CRM integrations that capture social interactions, and allow for later correlation with real world conversions.




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Effective Social Listening – Bringing personality to your brand through transparent customer support twitter handles

Posted October 25th, 2011 in Social Listening, Social Media Engagement by Gordon Geldenhuys


Many companies debate today, especially those looking at launching into a fully fledged social listening strategy, how they are going to manage customer support successfully. Some of the considerations taking place is how are we going to buffer our support efforts via our Twitter handle. What happens when we turn on the tap, and queries start coming in? How are we going to be able to escalate internally? How are going to employ against this requirement – to be available via Twitter 24/7/365 and maintain an expected SLA with our clients on under an hour expected Twitter response time? How are we going to be transparent about our operations, and give our customers a real sense that there are actual people behind our brand? How are we going to be able to comfort our customers in the knowledge that when they @mention us, someone will take on their query and champion it to see it through to resolution?

These are some tough questions, and should be taken seriously ahead of any social engagement. Unfortunately its make or break, as when we put ourselves out there for everyone to see, it forms an expectation, and in todays switched on economy those expectations often lead to discomfort when not fulfilled.

Fortunately there are a number of examples of companies that are getting this right. By employing social media monitoring tools that allow for effective workflow & engagement internally to investing in teams and infrastructure to handle it all, companies are taking sti

The stark contrast – ABSA

One of SA’s leading banks is ignoring tweets and adding no personality or value to customers. Customers are finding their queries are falling on deaf ears and are switching to more responsive banks. Take Rian Van de Merwe’s example – he tweeted to ABSA, and was soon contacted by RBJacobs (the FNB Guy) and was soon persuaded to side with the more responsive bank –

Absa find us on everything but Twitter

Find us on everything but Twitter

A good example of how Dell cares – and they really do care

Instead of having just a Twitter handle @Dellcares (like so many other companies) they’ve taken this a stead further by featuring actual support teams profiles as part of this so that people can identify with who the support person actually is and who is dealing with their queries. They do this by using the symbol ^ with the initials of the person e.g. ^MA in all tweets. Or just their initials MA. There is a legend to the left of the twitter feed so that you can identify with with support agent its with.

In addition they’ve listed their location – Austin TX, as well as their support hours (like any call centre support team would) – “Hours (CST): 8AM-7PM, M-F & 10 AM-7 PM S-S”
They’re calling it their “Dell’s Social Media Outreach Team“ and dubbed it as “We are here to listen, help and provide proactive info to our Customers.”

Dellcares Twitter Screengrab

As testament to the investment, Dell has invested in a Social Media Command Centre

If you’re interested in some of the above aspects of how you’re company can develop internal social listening and be able to scale it internally, drop me a line and we can chat.

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3 Reasons Why You Can’t Use A Make-Shift Social Media Engagement Team

Posted April 28th, 2011 in Social Media Engagement by Gordon Geldenhuys

You’ve made the step to embrace social media. You’ve decided on a strategy for launch & thought about the processes to put in place to manage the rollout. You know its important to empower your staff for social media in the broader sense. You’ve registered Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter profiles and now you’re thinking about how to populate them and build a community around your brand. You understand that every person in your organisation is a potential brand ambassador or spokesperson. You’re thinking about employing a dedicated social media engagement team or you’re thinking about delegating responsibilities into existing roles within your company. Make no mistake, you cant take an interim approach to a social media engagement team. Here’s 3 reasons why:-

1. Unskilled labor just doesn’t scale

You cant afford to handover strategy & fulfillment to an inexperience person, to baby or hold their hand while you drive other important business functions. Its just not scalable. Nor can you leave an inexperienced team up to their own devices to drive your brand presence into the online world. You need a knowledgable & insightful team who both bare the credentials of a having dealt with & have had access to multiple levels of your organisation as well as indepth know-how of your internal culture & procedures.

2. Your company structure is invisible.

Your customers, prospects and people looking for you online dont care about your corporate structure. They dont care about which department needs to handle their query or who’s responsibility it is. If they find you on Twitter or Facebook, share a comment or post on your blog, they most likely are looking for a response from someone who can deal with their query.There’s a human element to all this. People are reassured and humbled by being ushered by a helpful curtious human representative of your organisation. They dont care about where the answer comes from, just that its from a point of authority and from someone or a team that cares. There’s no replacement for the human touch. No one wants an automated, complex and recorded response… often by the wrong person/division/title of whom cant deal with their query in any case.

3. Customer Service is for everyone

Gone are the days of centralised functions that deal with customers while the rest of your business deals with its business. Customers now have direct access to CEO’s, Senior Technicians and even your doorman by means of a friend request or a follow. And those customers can pose any question to these new customer representatives at any time. Thats why its important to be mindful that this interaction can take place at any time with anyone within your organisation. It highlights the need to empower a broader team, rather than cornering all your social media skills within a small team – that may not always have all the capacity to share with all.