What is ROI? Simply put it is the profit that is generated from investment/cost. What is the ROI of Social Media? The answer isn’t as straight forward. Social Media is a complex industry and understanding its principles is very different from understanding its implementation.
Before you can work out what your social media return on investment is you will need to ask yourself three fundamental questions.
Why is your business on Social Media in the first place?
Are you an organisation that is trying to educate your target market? Keep them interested and engaged so as to make your products or services stand out from the rest of your competitors? Or are you an organisation that is trying to effect social change? Are you again trying to educate your fans/ followers so as to influence their thinking and effectively their behaviour?
What platform(s) is/are best suited to your goal?
If you really understand why you are doing a job it will make it far easier to work out what you are going to get out of it. For example, if your company is on social media to drive sales of its products, then ask yourself, is the end goal to drive sales in a new medium along with its existing means of marketing or is the company looking for ways of improving its customer service as a way to drive sales?
By grasping the end goal you will be able to understand what needs to be done in order for you to achieve it. You will be able to implement the right kind of technology and interact on the most relevant platform. For example, if your business sells directly to other business’s then LinkedIn should probably your first point of call. If customer or employee relationships are key to your business then Facebook should be pinging on your radar.
Who is going to be responsible?
Another imperative point to jot down is that, social media is one massive, never ending and always changing conversation. Social media platforms continually develop in order to facilitate the conversation and to make it easier to report on activity but, social media will always need a human element.
Putting the right team in place is vital in order to avoid PR nightmares from happening. It will ensure that the right message is being communicated to your target audience and it will also insure that the right person for the job is in place when a fan/follower engages with your company online.
After going through the three questions above you now know the concept of your social media activity, you should also have a clear indication of where best to start your company’s social media activity and most importantly, you know who is going to be responsible for it.
With these three factors in check, being able to give a responsible answer when being asked about the campaigns ROI should be easy. What you put in will define what benefits your company will get out.
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