ROI on social media campaigns; are you doing it right?

Social media campaigns are increasingly becoming a mandate of every brand. Company’s want to create greater brand presence, generate greater brand recall, and build on consumer engagement (which makes sense, as a large percentage of consumer are on social platforms).

However, determining a / Every brand’s success on social media actually hinges on measuring the after effects of a campaign – How many new followers have come on board? How many clicks on the page today? How many people are talking about us today? Has there be a visible increase in the sales figures? How many leads have we generated?

The after effects are also known as the return on investment (ROI). There are 2 different kinds of ROI:

1) Tangible – These investments are quantifiable. A certain value can be attached to it. For example – Number of likes reach, number of clicks, lead generation, page views, retweets, and percentage of increase in sales

2) Intangible – These investments are more complex, and are often difficult to measure numerically. These investments tend to be reflected over a period of time. Examples of this are brand positioning, brand recall, brand image, conversation among users (offline), and word of mouth reach

How do we measure these investments?

First things first, you must always set a goal: Every company who chooses to spend time on social media must be clear about their goals. Social media goals must connect to the eventual goals of the organisation. Increasing one’s followers is one thing, but all time spent on social media should line up with growing your business.

That being said, every goal should be have both tangible and intangible outcomes.

For example:

Your intangible goal could be to be a conversational brand (intangible)
The tangible way you would measure this would be by increasing followers and generating leads through free e-book downloads

Is platform the fifth P of Marketing?

Due to the varied nature of social media platforms, companies must make sure the goals are in tandem with the platform. A conversation driven campaign could be great for Twitter, but would might not work for Instagram.  If a particular campaign revolves around video, Youtube is the ideal platform. Make sure you select the right platform before running a campaign, and set your ROI goals accordingly.

Conquer the digital war with the right tools:

Once you have selected your platform and set your goals, there are various tools available to make running campaigns easier and more effective.

1) InfusionSoft : a Tool for sales and marketing management. Aimed at startups, it has features like lead scoring, automated follow up, and an E-commerce option that will help measure your marketing ROI.

2) Hootsuite: Hootsuite helps you manage several social media platforms on one page. It gives you a real idea on what users are conversing about, the most used keywords, and the current trends. It also has built in reporting and analytics to measure your social campaigns. These features can help you create, run, and then improve your campaigns.

Google Analytics: A tool specifically meant to measure online ROI – (Views, reach, and clicks). These measurements may or may not lead to monetary conversion but will give you a clear idea of what really click with your users. You can also integrate Google Analytics with Hootsuite to measure everything with one tool.

Klout – This tool helps measure online influence through Twitter and Facebook. The idea is then to bring your campaign to these influencers. Yet another integration here with Hootsuite, so you can run all your social media campaigns and strategy with one tool.

Howsocial – This tool helps measure the impact of your brand across social media platforms, which then helps decide which platform suits your brand best.

At the end of the day, the intention behind measuring ROI is to understand what works and what doesn’t. Apart from justifying the spend allocated to social media, measuring ROI helps companies  reset strategies for their social media campaigns to achieve the desired objective.