As a Social Media Marketer, you need to be aware of the fact that you need to provide proof that your social activities are worthwhile; otherwise you are doing a great disservice to your organization.
Our stale, traditional media analytics, including web analytics are just not dynamic enough to take full advantage of the awesome power of Social Media.
Do you really think that a number of followers, replies, shares, likes, clicks, +1s, retweets, etc. is enough to arrive at a decision that your Social Media campaign is working well?
Is it enough to convince your management, your CMO for additional funding?
The answer is NO or at the very least, the funding will not continue much longer.
You need numbers, actual dollars and cents to know exactly, whether particular activities on Twitter are effective and profitable or if paid campaigns on Facebook, Linkedin or other social channels are more profitable than your team’s organic efforts, and so on. You can revive or inject a breath of fresh air into your company’s Social Media marketing efforts.
Do you include “Soft”, as well as “Hard” activities in your economic measurements?
We all understand a “Hard” activity, which was always the end goal of our campaign: a sale or a donation for example.
Examples of “Soft” activities can be: your post/page views, shares, likes, email sign-ups, clicks, etc. I many companies, “soft” activities are underestimated and misunderstood and they are not connected to “Hard” activities. As a matter of fact a “Soft” activity has several times the value of “hard” activity! This is deep stuff and to be aware of it is tremendously valuable.
All “Soft” activities have economic value and will provide you with invaluable data, not only useful in predicting a measurable end-result, but with the ability to predict and measure a degree of potential success in the initial stages of you Social Media campaigns. This ability will allow you early in the process to change and adjust or even end underperforming Social Media campaigns, saving your company time and money and tremendously boosting your ROI. It also will give you a clear picture, identifying the best performing social channels that you should be a part of.
The concept of measuring “Soft” interactions with your potential customers is not unique to Social Media; it also works well for measuring activities on your website or a blog, as well as off-line businesses, like schools, non-profits, events, etc.
How to Calculate All Social Media Activities into Business Value
To measure effectively all your Social Media activities, you will need to calculate four indicators:
– Chat Rate = Number of Replies or Comments / Post
– Velocity Rate = Number of Retweets or Shares / Post
– Approval Rate = Number of Likes or +1s or Favorites / Post
– Business Value
You can calculate all four indicators for your social page and all your social channels.
Here is an example of Chat Rate formula for one social channel within a given period of time (for expl. Linkedin – 1 week):
Chat Rate = Number of Replies or Comments / Number of Posts
For example: Chat Rate =17 / 3
Chat Rate = 5.67
The higher the number the better, your audience becomes more involved and interested in your post. This formula can be applied in every Social Media channel. In the same manner you will need to calculate Velocity Rate, Approval Rate and Business Value for all social channels you are using.
Business Value = Soft + Hard Revenues +Savings
For website based transactions, assign tracking codes for each campaign or product links.
You can use tools, such as Google Analytics or Omniture, WebTrends, Site Catalyst, CoreMetrics to help you establish your Business Value Goal in order to measure the success of your Social Media activities against it.
Study your past conversion rates – how many replies, clicks, signups, views, etc. did it take for a sale to occur, and apply the conversion rates to establish your goals for each of the four activities’ indicators. You will start noticing some consistencies and patterns in your “Soft” value indicators, which will make you feel like a superman/woman, because that my friend will allow you to predict “Hard” conversions, making you look like a genius.
Your organizations amount of business volume will determine how often to calculate your Business Value. It could be done daily weekly or every hour. Your goals should be adjusted accordingly, as well.
Everyone on the marketing team should be well versed in the art of “Soft” and “Hard” marketing interactions and calculations of your “Business Value”. Your company will prosper and so will you.