Are you tracking social media ROI? If so, you're part of a small minority. Currently, there's a lot of talk about social media ROI and monitoring, which by itself is an indicator that social media marketing is maturing. That doesn't necessarily translate to action, however, since there's a lot of confusion around what to track and how to track it.
While social media ROI attracts a lot of discussion and stands for fancy names like return on interaction, the reality is that only one out of three companies tracks social media ROI after three years! Even more surprising, social media ROI is one of the five indicators of social media adoption according to SmartBrief Inc. and Summus Limited's "2010 State of Social Media for Business."
Problems Measuring Social Media ROI
Here are three reasons that explain the difficulty in tracking and calculating social media ROI.
Given these internal challenges for tracking social media ROI, it makes sense to use other metrics to monitor your social media campaign's performance.
5 Social Media Metrics That Matter
From a business perspective, what's important, at least in the short term, is showing that your social media marketing is effective at achieving your business goals. Therefore, establish goals for your social media marketing and related metrics that can effectively track your progress and allow you to tweak your social media campaign to improve its effectiveness. To that end, these five social media metrics are useful and relatively easy to integrate into your existing marketing tracking.
While revenues may not be trackable in the early phases of your firm's social media marketing, and the costs may be integrated into your overall marketing budget, as your social media marketing initiatives grow and require more resources, both financial and human, so will your need to track them and develop a social media ROI.
What are your views on social media ROI and which other social media metrics matter for your business? Please share your perspectives in the comment section below.
Heidi is off today. This column was originally published on April 18, 2011 on ClickZ.
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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