How to measure social media ROI

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Platform kicks off the first article of a three-part series on social media marketing for start-ups, by taking a look at measuring social media engagement and ROI. You can read Part Two here, and Part Three here.

When Mark Zuckerberg sat in his university dorm room with a vision of a college social networking site in mind, he likely never imagined Facebook becoming one of the biggest communication tools ever invented.

The thought that the site would become a key business tool, rebuilding companies into more humanised brands, was also likely not in the blue prints.

Yet, despite the speed at which we have latched onto social media in business, many of us still don’t know why. We hire specialists, we create unique social media strategy, we monitor comments and we even provide customer support through Twitter. But unlike all traditional marketing tactics, we have had few measurement devices in place to ascertain if all our time and effort is truly worth it.

As Facebook and social media in general have grown, so too has the demand from business managers, that we tangibly justify our investment in it. In response, market research companies have developed scientific methods that measure a myriad of results relating to our business social media engagement.

At Platform, like many digital agencies, we understand the need to justify spend, and as a business, we know it is important to measure how well we are engaging with our customers and clients. We use tried and tested methodology to asses the success of our social media strategy, specifically:

  • If our social media presence satisfies the needs of our target consumer market.
  • How successfully we use social media strategy to drive website visits.
  • The financial benefits relating to the satisfaction of social media users who have used our website.
  • How to make the best use of marketing budget by comparing traditional marketing results with social media results.

With this in mind, the role that social media engagement can play in marketing — and the prominence given to it in communication strategy - can justifiably become much more significant.

Using these methods of measurement, you can determine the value of social media-driven leads and prioritise your budgets. This will mean social media investment can be allocated to the most effective options, as opposed to a broad sweep of the most popular sites.

Research has shown the top three reasons companies pursue social media strategies is to drive users to their website, increase brand recognition and improve reputation. Introducing these measurement methods can not only assist in determining if you are meeting these goals but provide real and tangible justification for continuing to invest.

On a final note, while concrete results are always very important, social media for business also needs to be assessed from an anecdotal perspective. Consumers are now demanding a greater understanding of the people behind the company, believing peer reviews over brand promises and wanting instant answers. Social media is a vital tool for listening and talking with your customers so your business can continue to positively evolve and improve it’s bottom line.

Platform specialises in delivering digital and social media strategies to our clients, undertaking development through to implementation and ongoing measurement and improvement. For more information on social media and how to justify your continuing investment, visit www.platformdigital.com.au

For more information about integrating social media into your digital strategy, please contact Platform on (02) 9911 7788.

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