The question that everybody involved in Social Media marketing asks is, of course, what returns am I getting? What is my ROI?
Well, what’s the problem?
As I am sure all of you know, this is sort of a loaded question. The problem begins with the fact that Social Media promotions and campaigns rarely translates to immediate revenues. When you get that new follower on Twitter, or a new “like” on Facebook, how long will it take before that initial interaction finally turns into a sale – 2 days? 2 Weeks? 2 Years?
Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty
What I think we all can agree on is that Social Media is primarily a channel used to build relationships with your customers / clients. This would mean that it is a medium in which you can have a genuine dialogue with them in real time. This constant interaction with your customers / clients results in the most rewarding aspect of Social Media: Loyalty.
So What Does Social Media Really Mean?
Knowing that Social Media is about getting and maintaining loyalty through interactions with your fans, I think the expression of Social Media ROI should extend beyond mere dollar amounts.
Sure, you may be able to measure just how much in $ terms your fans are worth as I attempted to do in the post - 4 Steps to Measuring Facebook ROI, but it will never capture the full value of Social Media.
The real value in it lies in the interactions you have with your fans. What you should be doing is creating metrics in which you calculate the % increase in likes or engagement on your page. You must be able to say for instance: “The rate of commenting on our Facebook page has increased by 120% during the promotion”.
An increase in engagement, likes, or even reach is in itself an ROI measure in itself. Even though it is difficult to express them into dollar amounts, these metrics are indeed returns as they do bring in revenues for your business in some way or another.
ROI means Return on Investment – no part of it says that it has to be in dollar amounts.