So often I hear that companies have trouble figuring how or what to track with social media. There is a wide range of tools to measure the buzz and chatter about your brand, but what about ROI (define)? Companies are investing time tweeting, posting, and weaving social media functionality into their online ad campaigns and asking, "What is my organization getting back?" At the same time, there are some who still say, "Don't worry about tracking social media." To them I say, "Hogwash!" Social media is one of the easiest things to track ROI from if you understand how to combine the tracking and analytics tools you already have. ROI from social media can be tracked right down to the clicks, leads, and dollars it brings into your organization, just like everything else we do online!
You can also measure the media equivalent value of the actions and behaviors you create with social media, and that's when things get really interesting for people building a brand. What is the value of all those impressions, clicks, and page views if you were to pay for them as advertising? With a little ingenuity, all these metrics can be brought together into easy-to-use-and-analyze dashboards.
Here are just a few ROI metrics you can apply to social media:
The key to tracking anything is to step back and seek out the same value you apply to anything you do online. If your goal and main metric are leads and cost per lead, then the opportunities and technology exist right now to apply your objective to social media and effectively measure the outcome. Sometimes you need to think a little outside of the limited set of features your main tracking platform might provide and toggle a couple things together, but the effort is well worth it if you are the hero in your company that closes the loop on social media ROI!
Meet Harry Gold at SES New York, March 22-26, 2010 at the Hilton New York. SES and ClickZ are both part of Incisive Media.
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As founder and CEO of Overdrive, Harry Gold is the architect and conductor behind the company's ROI-driven programs. His primary mission is to create innovative marketing programs based on real-world success and to ensure the marketing and technology practices that drive those successes are continually institutionalized into the culture and methods of the agency. What excites him is the knowledge that Overdrive's collaborative environment has created a company of online media, SEM, and online behavioral experts who drive success for the clients and companies they serve. Overdrive serves a diverse base of B2B and B2C clients that demand a high level of accountability and ROI from their online programs and campaigns.
Harry started his career in 1995 when he founded online marketing firm Interactive Promotions, serving such clients as Microsoft, "The Financial Times," the Hard Rock Cafe, and the City of Boston. Since then, he has been at the forefront of online branding and channel creation, developing successful Web and search engine-based marketing programs for various agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
Harry is a frequent lecturer on SEM and online media for The New England Direct Marketing Association; Ad Club; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; Harvard University; and Boston University.