Ayesha Chenoy of RepIndia sheds light of analytics and social media explaining whether social media platforms should be used to generate RoI.

This is possibly the easiest question anyone has ever asked the CEO of a digital agency. The answer, yes – Social platforms should be used to generate ROI. But the real debate lies in what is CLEARY measurable and what isn’t. There are aspects of brand building and community building or messaging, that are more subjective. However, what digital does give us, that print and traditional forms of advertising don’t, are very clear indicators of ROI.

With traditional advertising, like billboards, you can never know how many people saw it and as a result made a purchase at a retail brand. However, when it comes to banner advertisements, we have a clear idea of impressions, reach and the resulting click through rate. For E-commerce clients, we measure on the basis of carousel ads (the equivalent of PLAs on social media), banner advertisements, site traffic, user behaviour on websites, leads generated and conversions, as a result there is a clear understanding of revenue generated.

Brand awareness is a whole new ball game – which we break down into awareness and listening. Brand awareness can be measured through engagement and reach – how well a page is doing depends on the engagement on the page, where are the likes coming from, are people commenting and sharing our posts? – As a result we can often advise our clients on what works for their brand and what doesn’t. Again, a clear ROI.

Listening is all about sentiment analysis. Given that social media is a dialogue and not a monologue, we have the unique ability to listen to what our audience thinks about the brand. We can track this through both listening tools and manually, and get a better understanding of how the brand is perceived in the market. This helps brands deal with problem areas, improve their business and provide the audience with what they want – A brilliant way to generate ROI.

Another great thing about social media is that through sophisticated targeting we can quite literally create the audience we desire. Through local awareness ads, customised and lookalike audiences, we have the ability to reach our target audience, build awareness for our brand and listen to what they have to say, thus generating a clear ROI.

So, is everything measurable? Can one Facebook creative for Coca Cola increase sales and can the ROI be measured? Well, not exactly. Brand building is a long process, we work to drive home a message and build an emotion that the brand wants to be associated with – this is hard to measure.

Ultimately, as cliché as it sounds, everything is a balance. In almost everything we do, we look for an ROI, luckily with social media, it’s becoming easier and easier to achieve it and measure it.

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