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Measuring your Social Media with Return on Effort (ROE)

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 08 Apr, 2013
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Social media: why you need to consider ROE on Social Media

The days and ways of traditional marketing are changing. While companies are still pumping hard cash into print, TV and radio ads, Social Media has become a key ingredient of any marketing plan. However, there is a major difference.

While in traditional marketing, once the ad/s have hit the medium, there is not much one can do but, to sit there and calculate the return on investment (ROI) using various campaign measurement metrics. On Social Media it is a different story altogether. As Social Media is always alive', the marketers need to remember that they have to engage with the customer 24/7 and 365 days of the year. This 'constant contact' allows you to approach, respond and react in real time.

Hence to achieve better results a continuous effort has to be made by businesses to satisfy the ever intelligent customer on Social Media. And along with that comes the measurement of Return on Effort (ROE).

In August 2012, a report published by Gartner, Inc. said, 'By 2014, organisations that refuse to communicate with customers by Social Media will face the same level of wrath from customers as those that ignore today's basic expectation that they will respond to emails and phone calls. For organisations that use Social Media to promote their products, responding to inquiries via social media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected.'

And now, in 2013, Justyn Howard, CEO of Sprout Social, a platform for social business, says, 'The growth, relevance and reputation of today's organisations are being shaped by social conversations. Customer care and communication have changed forever. In order to succeed, you must #BePresent.'

Still, there are many businesses who think that Social Media is just creating a Facebook page and, a little more extravagantly, setting up a Twitter account and then counting the 'LIKES' and 'FOLLOWERS' and then dwelling on it. No, Social Media measurement and analysis go far beyond that.

Following are some key elements to measure while analysing your Social Media campaign.

Measuring your Social Media campaign

As social media marketing requires investment of time rather than money, ROE
(Return on Effort) is the best way to capture the cost of social media marketing. If we start measuring the effort then they key elements will be the time spent engaged in an activity such as being on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn etc. No matter which activity you do on social media it has go to be focused, based on the goal/s you have set.

The goal/s may be lead generation, sales conversions, increasing visibility, building new business connections, sharing of information or anything else, these must be monitored and measured to check how near or far are you from your goals. For example if the goal on Twitter was lead generation and you generated 10 leads out of 100 followers then it would be much better than generating 1 lead out of 1000 followers. And these figures should be measured against time as well.

Following are some key elements to measure while analysing your Social Media campaign.

  • Buzz Volume: This will give you the volume of mentions (of your brand or competitors brand) over a given time period.
  • Top Mentions: This will tell you how and what the consumers are talking about your brand. This is also an excellent way of getting the 'keywords/phrases' for your website.
  • Sentiment: This tells you how many interactions/comments made by the consumers are positive, negative and/or neutral.
  • Influencers: This gives you the details about those who are most influential to your brands be it bloggers, tweeters or Facebook 'friends', depending upon the number of their readers, followers and friends respectively.
  • Location: This will tell you where your customers are coming from. This, when cross referenced with 'languages' will allow you to decide whether you need to communicate with your 'audience' (customers) in more than one language or not.
  • Gender: While this measurement is still quite ambiguous, it roughly tells you which gender is more engaged with your brand, again, allowing you to respond and react accordingly.

Beyond this, there are some additional measures as well that can be incorporated e.g. age, etc. but still they are not extremely reliable as yet.

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