Measuring social ROI

Measuring ROI on social media platforms is tricky at best; in fact, many are convinced it’s a fruitless pursuit. The question that has most of us scratching our heads is - Can you really quantify human interaction?

Equator's Emma Ramsay believes that you can and was happy to share her thoughts. In what was a particularly informative session, Emma happily shared detailed knowledge and insight on the topic - and, in a uniquely open fashion, Emma was able to get into the actual methodology and tools that Equator use to ensure they can give their clients the numbers they need when it comes to measuring the ROI of social media.

Emma started off by quickly clarifying some of the more common misconceptions about social media:

  • Using social media is "not about driving direct sales". It should be used to engage with clients on a journey to a strong relationship as opposed to a quick sale.
  • It is not a free marketing channel. Gone are the days when you could get by passing the buck onto the office junior or whoever's free at the moment. In order to implement social media properly you need people with the right knowledge, such as a business strategist or PR person (and their time is certainly not free).

After this introduction, Emma shared the real knowledge. She encouraged people to ensure they're asking the right questions when approaching a social media campaign. I felt the stand-out questions were:

  • Is social media the right platform for your audience?
  • Is your company looking for strictly financial goals?
  • Do you know what you're measuring?

Whilst the answers are dependent on the company, the perspective the questions open up is invaluable.

As Emma guided us through some of the more in-depth ideas, she shared general guidelines and tips for anyone planning a campaign:

  • On Twitter, your tweets should have a ratio of 80:20. About 80% of tweets with urls and 20% without. Also, some of the links should just be to valuable content as opposed to having all links directing back to the target site.
  • You should constantly be questioning a social media campaign. For example, why is one tweet getting more re-tweets than another?
  • Regardless of what is being said about the company "it's better to know - even if it's bad".

As the talk came to a close and Emma re-iterated some of the more important points, it became clear that the heart of any social media campaign is analysing everything. As Miss Ramsay succinctly put it "Trial, test and refine".

All in all, another great talk from the folks at Equator. And a much needed one as made abundantly clear by the amount of interaction from the audience upon its conclusion - the discussion afterward nearly lasted longer than the presentation. Well done guys.

By Ross Cook

How valuable do you think social media is? Watch the full event!