8 Ways to Measure Social Media ROI


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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