erinism: #socialmedia and other explorations

Measuring Social Media: the stats

Posted in measurement,ROI,social media by Erin on September 28, 2009
Tags: , ,

Whatz ROI?

Whatz the ROI?

After reading Social Media Measurement Lags Adoption, the stats are alarming–but by no means surprising.

A lot of people assume that since social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook offer free accounts, that their use in a business and marketing or PR sense is free.  However, companies must consider costs such as man hours, giveaways, samples, opportunity cost, sponsorships, and production.  And anytime there is an investment made in something–whether with time, money, or both–the ROI must be measured.  When the ROI is unknown, there is no way to know if efforts are successful, or if they need to be re-strategized or shifted.

Social media measurement is radically changing and developing more each day.  Web analytics, of course, are an essential first step (this explains ROI calculations far better than I can).  Beyond that, periodical and consistent customer surveys and emotional context measurements of brand mentions (especially in the blogosphere and Twitter) allow companies to gauge whether consumer sentiment toward a product is improving because of involvement in social media.

Google alerts and sites such as TweetBeep allow users to set up email alerts anytime their brand is mentioned.  I also highly recommend CoTweet for businesses–it allows you to schedule tweets, measure the percentage of click-throughs for a particular link, and analyze emotional context (positive vs. neutral vs. negative–and for most companies, a majority will be neutral).

Determining if a social media campaign is a success will depend on the goals and objectives of the strategy.  If planned correctly, ROI should be a part of such goals.