Author: Heba Hosny26 May 2011
The problem with social media ROI that it is still a very “Greyish” area and none of the proposed tools/techniques for measuring it is reliable enough. That’s why when people raise ROI-related questions, you find all sorts of extreme answers with every party giving valid reasons to support their argument. Here are just two examples I spotted on Q&A sites:
The following is Garious greyish answer:
For starters, I wouldn’t compare “likes” to “tweets”. I would compare Facebook likes to Twitter followers as each of them gives an instant indication of your page/profile popularity. I would compare Facebook “posts” to “tweets” in terms of which of them got more comments/retweets.
For Garious, Twitter brings more traffic than Facebook. The reason behind that is the entire team is Twitterholic! But we didn’t let our Twitter passion affect our Facebook presence as we kicked off the year by revamping our Facebook page and adding a welcome tab with a promotional video about our services.
Personally, I don’t think there’s a general rule of thumb that would apply to every business. It’s the business nature and how actively it is engaged in both platforms that will determine the final outcome. I hope this helps.
I invite you to check out the rest of the answers and you will see a staggering array of views!
Again, here’s Garious greyish answer:
I would say that sharing paves the way for commenting. A new blog needs buzz more than anything else. The more visitors the blog will get, the higher the possibility that at least some of them will comment. Having said that, it’s commenting that gives me the feeling that blog post is really valuable because someone took the time to fully read it and comment on it.
On the other hand, tweeting/sharing a post doesn’t give it the same credibility because it takes a second to tweet a post and sometimes those who do take a quick glance at the post to share it. I would say both them is useful in its own way: blog post sharing is quantitative while blog commenting is qualitative. From a pure social engagement perspective, commenting allows blog author to interact with commenters, unlike sharing.
In addition to building meaningful relationships with commenters, it’s more fulfilling and rewarding for a blog author to that see his/her work is worth commenting about. I would love to see both of them happening with my blog posts but my smile gets wider when people take the time to comment .
You may check out all the widely diverse answers by clicking here.
Recently, I came across a very important SME article on the topic written by Dag Holmboe . I invite all of you to take the time to read it:
Here are the parts that I agree with him – 100%:
However, as much as I admire his effort in researching and detailing how to quantify social ROI and give it a dollar value, I feel the techniques presented still have some key issues:
So, what’s the way out? How about having a paradigm shift and focusing on setting S.M.A.R.T. social media goals that you can accurately measure?
I will share with you how Garious tackles this issue. Lucky for us, Aaron Eden, the founder of Garious, daytime job is business intelligence. He has a very simple yet effective S.M.A.R.T. goal setting approach:
Oops! I almost forgot…
Simply put: “increasing sales” is NOT a S.M.A.R.T. goal, but “making $10,000+ net sales in June 2011″ is. (I like to put a “+ “sign after the monetary value to open myself up to the possibility of exceeding the goal.)
Now back to Garious S.M.A.R.T. SMM goal setting recipe:
I am not planning to discuss Garious overall mission and vision here. I will narrow it down further and discuss our short-term S.M.A.R.T. goal for Garious blog. Here’s how we do it:
Outcomes -> S.M.A.R.T. Goal ->Key Meaurables -> Actions ->Monitoring
Garious Blog Outcomes:
Garious Blog S.M.A.R.T. Goal:
Getting 30+ comments and 100+shares on Garious blog next month (June 2011)
We monitor our performance on weekly basis using Google Analytics, besides other tools. That’s a very brief version of what we do and of course we are involved in a wide variety of social activities with separate goals set for each. We do “compare apples to apples” on a regular basis.
The bottom line is if I published a killer blog post today that resulted in a happy subscriber today who will turn to be a paying customer a year later, there’s no tool on earth that could ever predict that! And you can’t tell me that I wasted time and resources when I published the post today. Lucky for me, I don’t have to present an ROI report 2 months later!
In other words, Social Media works slowly but surely and until there’s a an accurate measure of Social ROI, I strongly believe that businesses are better off setting S.M.A.R.T. SMM Goals and monitoring them. What’s the ROI of your mother?