Social Media ROI: It’s Not Black And White
One of the most common questions we get asked by clients is regarding social media and it’s ROI. Specifically, “What’s the ROI from social media?”. This is probably the hardest area to measure the ROI for- social media marketing is still young and it’s not an activity which presents clear results and benefits. That’s why it’s important to know how to interpret social media metrics but also to understand that social media isn’t an instant result-maker nor an instant fix to an organizational problem.
Social media isn’t a stand alone activity
Social media marketing is a developing form of marketing communications, and it requires a lot of set up time and effort. Additionally, it’s not an activity that exists on it’s own and has a defined set of parameters that can be converted to ROI statistics. This is because it is most beneficial when carried out with other activities, like public relations, advertising, online marketing and offline marketing, and the results from campaigns in these areas can be influenced by social media activity. This is where the lines get blurry.
An ongoing campaign
Let’s say you develop a social media campaign and activate it. The campaign runs for two weeks. At the end of those two weeks, you’ve increased your following and have a number of new customers on board. Most people would consider this a success, and would consider that is has a high ROI. But here’s the thing. Social media is a continuous activity. It’s not just about bringing new customers on board in a new way, it’s about building relationships and establishing trust between customers and clients, both old and new. As a continuous activity, most people feel that this has a lower ROI, but in fact is has a much higher ROI than people realize. This misconception is because this continued social media activity is harder to measure and doesn’t present black and white results.
True social media ROI isn’t crystal clear, so it’s important to understand the true benefits of carrying out social media marketing. Stay tuned for further guides on measuring social media ROI and how to maximize this ROI.