Measuring return on investment (ROI) is a very hot topic in the social media sphere. Few small to medium businesses are doing it, but the majority of large brands who have the time and finances to do so are.
How are the big brands doing it?
The bigger brands are using Google Analytics very effectively, and (in simple terms) with Google’s URL builder (or similar) they get a nice unique code on the end of each link they tweet, post or share. What this allows them to do is track what tweet, post or share leads to what traffic, in turn what sales or orders.
This is all good and well, but it needs a few things, time being one, resources being another and data being the third. A lot of smaller businesses do not have the time to do so, bigger companies can invest in resources that make life a bit easier and they have the data available where they can put a value on things like contact forms, downloads, etc. They can do this because they know how many people need to fill out that contact form to get a sale, they know the average value from the sales, so dividing the two together, they can get a value for each one filled out.
Google analytics will tell you exactly how many fill out this ‘goal’ from social media, or from your individual links and therefore ROI from social media can be measured.
How can you measure it?
Here’s the thing, small to medium businesses also want to measure ROI from social media. What they definitely don’t have is the time to do things like creating individual links for each and every post via social media. So what’s the alternative?
The alternative is to not worry, don’t worry about what exact tweet leads to what, worry about the whole strategy. Measure individual posts with analytics on Buffer, or insights on Facebook. Set up a social media filter on analytics and you’ll get a figure of how many hits, conversations and sessions you gained from your social media.
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