Written by Carla Ciccotelli
Social media is a young marketing discipline and many ‘gurus’ maintain that you can’t measure the ROI of your social media efforts with traditional marketing metrics (clicks, impressions, revenue etc…). Here at Digital Visitor, we couldn’t disagree more and we always deliver our clients real results from their social media activities and campaigns, with metrics they can value.
Using real-life case studies and analytics from across our network, we will show you how you can use social media to generate a meaningful ROI for your business.
Before 2012, many believed it was important for their organisation to just ‘be’ on social media – and that was a good enough reason but now your directors want proof. They don’t care if you think it’s cool that your fans can play a fun game on your Facebook page – they just want to know if it’s going to help their bottom line. So how do you articulate social media ROI?
The right measurements
While measuring the ROI of a social media campaign depends on your company’s goals (brand awareness, engagement, loyalty, reduced returns/call volumes), here are the three key metrics we believe every business should consider when determining their social media ROI.
- Traffic – from organic and referral/social media
- Community Growth
- Revenue / Client Generation
Now we’ll look into each of these in more detail below, providing some helpful tips so you can monetise your social media campaigns.
a) Organic traffic
We’ve always known that to rank well, your website needs fresh, unique content added regularly. The most recent algorithm updates by search engines placed even more weight on user-generated content and social media, making it a critical piece of the overall SEO puzzle.
Gathering customer content – such as reviews, ratings, photos, videos, comments and discussions on your site, together with social indications – such as likes, shares, tweets, pins of this content – will all help enhance your SEO visibility, driving more organic traffic to your site. In fact, our research shows that 1 review will drive 1 new organic visitor per month. So 1,000 reviews on your website can drive 12,000 organic visitors in a year.
A few things to consider:
- Proactively ask your customers to share their experiences. Don’t just sit back and wait for them to share.
- Make it easy for people to share by allowing them to register using their existing social media profiles. No one wants to fill in a lengthy registration form and remember yet another password. In the last 30 days, just under 60% of our clients’ users logged in with their social media profiles.
- Track your conversions – you can use Google analytics to see if your visitors originated in Facebook, proving that social traffic buys from you!
b) Referral/social media traffic
So you’ve gathered all this amazing customer content on your site but what else can be done to really make the most of it?
A few things to consider:
- Share some of the best customer content you’ve gathered over to your business Facebook page. This will help drive traffic back to your website.
- Our stats show that businesses who share content to their social profiles can drive up to 2 times their social media community to their website per month. So if you have 5,000 Likes, you can drive 10,000 visitors to your site each month.
- Make it possible for your customers to also share their favourite content with their friends. Across our network, 41% of users who logged in with their social profiles also shared content.
Below is a summary of the statistics we have quoted and some examples of just how much traffic social media could drive to your website:
2. Community Growth
It’s all well and good sharing content with your social communities, but what’s the point if you don’t have anyone to share it with?
While it’s important to grow your social media communities, the question you should be asking is how you can create a quality audience of people who are interested in your products and services – so you can interact and engage with them time and time again.
- Offer exclusive content to community members. Examples of exclusive content include videos, photos, discount coupons, information about limited edition releases or pre-orders, and whitepapers/.pdf’s.
- Run a competition offering a prize that would interest the type of people you want to attract. Competitions are a great way to boost your social communities while also capturing precious data. Remember, the more chances to win, the more likely a person will be to enter. So give away a number of smaller prizes (such as vouchers or products) as an alternative.
3. Revenue / Client Generation
So, why have we just advised you to invest in building your community? Well because we’ve had great success in directly selling to a brand’s Facebook community and suggest you do this too.
One of the clear benefits of investing time and money to grow a loyal community is that you now have an engaging audience to which you can communicate discount coupons and flash sales to drive direct revenue and traffic to your website.
A few things to consider:
- One client of ours ran 3 consecutive flash sales. The first was to an audience of only 3,500 fans yet this generated over £23,000 revenue in 48 hours. Over the next few months, more sales were ran to their growing community and after 12 months they could attribute approximately £50,000 of direct sales to their Facebook fans.
- This was achieved by a combination of running engaging campaigns to build their community, and at the end of each campaign, promoting a product for them to purchase.
- And for B2B? A survey published on b2bsocialmediaguide.com stated that 45% of B2B companies have gained a customer from using LinkedIn.
Some final words of advice
Social media ROI can be measured – and it should be approached in the same manner as you would any other marketing activity. You certainly would expect to see a return for your email marketing, advertising or PPC so why should you accept anything less for your social media activity.
a) Identify what it is that your business will consider as a success for your social media campaign.
b) Understand what are the specific metrics you will need to measure to determine this.
c) Ensure you set targets.