When social media becomes a business initiative, reporting ROI becomes an expectation. A sometimes overwhelming expectation. Unlike traditional marketing, there is almost too much data. The old rules don’t apply, and reporting ROI no longer fits into a perfectly consistent report. It is fluid and we must adapt to the unique characteristics of the social web.
The various social channels don’t even measure the same actions and behaviors! And, what they measure today might change tomorrow with a whole new set of data points. Social media is volatile and that makes the ROI a moving target.
So when you have so much change and so much data at your fingertips, how do you make sense of all of it and choose what to report?
It’s easy. The key is to start with defined business objectives and then track, analyze, and present data that relates to the objectives. No more and no less.
And when you review the data, get out of the mindset of revenue. Of course revenue is important but it isn’t everything. The primary business impact of social media is not revenue. It’s insight that helps you meet your customer experience goals.
I know this probably all sounds a bit frustrating and maybe even vague, so let me clarify with 5 things I like to share in every social media report I create.
- Channel reports. Each channel has a different language and a different purpose, so they each need their own report.
- How the efforts are generating leads and customers.
- Our customer response rate.
- Our opportunity response rate.
- Reach and virality
Lastly, don’t forget to sell it. You have to motivate your managers and executive team to continue the commitment and investment in social media. It’s okay to share the challenges you face, but remember to share the solutions and extensive benefits as they relate to your business objectives and customer experience.
Social Insight Thought Leader