How to Measure (ROI) Social Media Campaigns in 2021

Picture of Analysts

Before starting any Social Media effort you must DEFINE your goals and targets (KPIs). A lot of these KPIs you can track from a CRM like HootSuite, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Sprout Social.

Basic Social Media Campaign KPI’s (Tangible) measurements:

  1. Product sales or qualified leads. New customers acquired. Not included: “converted leads” which are the responsibility of the sales organization or account manager.
  2. Increased revenue, and/or market share.
  3. Content Post CTR (Click-through rate) through Social Media platform.
  4. Site traffic (clicks back to website from a Social platform) or “sessions” by Social Media source

These are just a few basic metrics that you can use to measure your Social Media campaigns. So how do you measure the ever important “non-tangible” Social Media ROI?

  1. The quality of “buzz” or change in sentiment. Think Twitter buzz or the quality/quantity of blog feedback/comments. Develop an in-house engagement metric.
  2. Amount of relevant people handling digital content.
  3. Amount of “followers” or new members after a social media campaign. Not everyone’s social media goals is to sell product. Could be a branding goal or a service type goal.
  4. ReTweets
  5. Impressions
  6. Likes
  7. Connections

In the end, Social Media campaign goals must lead to increased revenue, SEO rankings (Google, and Bing are using “social signals” to help them rank), leads, branding/loyalty, or better service. It’s easy to present the tangible information to your boss or client. Make sure the non-tangible information is measured as well.

Why Your Business or Service Needs To Get On Twitter NOW

Which Social Media Helps SEO?

Its all about search engines and their use of “social signals” that help better rank your business. Google, and Bing are using “social signals” to help them rank. Google, of course, uses plus ones (Google+). Bing uses stuff people share on Facebook. Adding a social media presence to your SEO / traffic strategy is key now. Make sure your business has a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn page, and of course Google+. Be consitstent with all of them. Use the same annoucements, content, pictures, branding, description, etc. Rock-on!

Your Social Media Strategy Must Include These Platforms

  • FaceBook (encourage Likes and Shares)
  • Twitter (create robust profiles that link-back to your company website)
  • LinkedIn (many forums you can promote your business)
  • YouTube (create marketing & product videos to technical support “how to” solutions)
  • StumbleUpon (StumbleUpon now accounts for more than 50% of all referral traffic from the top social media sites)
  • Wikipedia (The key to getting traffic from Wikipedia is to simply post external and reference links)
  • Blogs (base your blog on the WordPress or Tumblr platform. The “reblog” strategy helps generate traffic. Post at least one blog post a day. Don’t have blog content? Pull some content out of existing white papers, or marketing collateral) 
  • Forums (get active in your online community!)
  • Social News Sites such as digg, reddit, Slashdot, etc.
  • Q & A Sites such as Yahoo Answers, Quora, Answers.com, etc.
  • Document Sharing Sites such as Scribd, docstoc, slideshare (generate good content that people will want to share)
  • Check-in sites such as foursquare

These Social Media sites create “signals” to Google in which they take into account when ranking search results. They also push enormous amounts of traffic back to your website. An active social media presence creates branding opportunities as well as goodwill for your customers (think customer support). In cases of PR messaging, social media delivers instantly.

3 Social Media Companies Ready To Go Public

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Investors can’t wait for today’s hot social media companies to “go public” i.e., offer stock in their companies for sale on major exchanges for the first time. These types of initial public offerings, or IPOs, are wildly popular now because they often skyrocket in value right out of the gate, putting a lot of money in shareholders’ pockets very quickly.

One of the latest examples of this involves the nation’s third most popular real estate website, Zillow, which helps connect homebuyers and sellers with real estate professionals, among other things. Shares of the company rose about 79% the day of its IPO on July 20. The newly issued stock of LinkedIn soared more than 170% when that celebrated professional networking site went public on May 19.

There are plenty more social media IPOs in the works, so you haven’t missed your chance to get in on the action if these sorts of exciting, but potentially very risky ground-floor investment opportunities, are your bag. Here are several other high-profile social media companies expected to go public in the near future, including the one just about everyone wants to know about: Facebook.

Groupon
Daily deal website Groupon, which has more than 83 million subscribers, stated that it aims to raise $750 million in the IPO it’s planning for this fall. The amount raised may end up being more like $1 billion, though, because so many investors want to buy stock in the company. Their eagerness stems mainly from Groupon’s astounding revenues, which experts think could hit $2.6 billion for all of 2011 – over an 85-fold increase since 2009, the company’s first year of business. Because of these results, Groupon has been called “the fastest-growing company in history.”

However, Groupon has received a lot of criticism for not being profitable. In fact, it hasn’t turned a profit yet in its brief three-year history and even posted a $456 million loss last year. Groupon isn’t making any money because management is funneling all available cash toward continued business growth – a strategy that isn’t expected to change anytime soon.

Zynga
Social network game developer Zynga, which boasts about 60 million active daily users, could raise up to $1 billion in its IPO this fall, too, just like Groupon. However, the difference is Zynga’s already profitable. Last year, the company reported earnings of $90 million on nearly $600 million in sales. Zynga also appears to be financially sound in general. For instance, it holds nearly $1 billion in cash and other very liquid assets that can be easily exchanged for cash.

It’s important to point out, however, that almost two-thirds of Zynga’s roughly 1,900 employees have been with the company for less than a year; 90% have been there less than two years. An even bigger issue may be the company’s heavy reliance on the social networking website Facebook for sales. Since Zynga’s games are free, it makes money on virtual-goods purchases within its games through a payment system called Facebook Credits. So far, Zynga has struggled to make money outside of Facebook, though it has been pursuing deals with Apple and Google to generate sales from smartphone users. (For related reading, see Top Social Media Entrepreneurs.)

Facebook
There’s still plenty of time to scrape together some cash for this long-anticipated IPO, which isn’t expected until sometime in the first quarter of 2012. And it may well end up being the mother of all IPOs, quickly raising $100 billion or more, by some estimates. That would almost immediately put Facebook right up there with companies like Intel in terms of value, though it would still have quite a ways to go to reach the scale of outfits like IBM and Microsoft, which are both worth in excess of $200 billion.

In terms of profits, Facebook’s on track to earn around $2 billion this year in EBITDA – less than a fifth of the more than $12 billion that both GE and Intel each earned in 2010. Profits at IBM and Microsoft were about $15 billion and $21.8 billion, respectively, last year. Thus, the big question for investors is: “Do you think Facebook is worth 50 times profits?” Because that’s what it’ll cost, assuming the IPO does generate $100 billion. To help put this into perspective, Microsoft shares are only selling for about 11 times profits.

The Bottom Line
The intention here isn’t to rain on the social media IPO parade, simply to acknowledge the risks. Because companies like Groupon, Zynga and Facebook are so popular, some investors may automatically assume they’re good investments and dive right in without doing much or any research. A better approach: Set aside the hype and evaluate these companies just like you would any other investment – with a level head and a healthy dose of skepticism.

3 Social Media Companies Ready To Go Public

Quick Blub: Stake Your Social Media Name Now

Knowem.comRemember the circus of cyber squatting domain names back in the day? Everyone was scrambling to own their domain names before cyber squatters owned them and held them for ransom $$$. A new service called “knowem?” checks and registers your brand name, username or vanity URL in the Social Media space (websites). I just registered my company. Register before the Social Media land grab comes of age. Do it now or someone will hold you and your company hostage. Its a great service that will do all the time consuming username registering for you.

How to Measure (ROI) Non-Tangible Social Media Campaigns

Before starting any Social Media effort you must DEFINE your goals and targets.

Basic Social Media Campaign KPI’s (Tangible) measurements:

1. Product sales or qualified leads. New customers acquired. Not included: “converted leads” which are the responsibility of the sales organization or account manager.
2. Increased SERP ranking.
3. Increased revenue, and/or market share.
4. CTR (Click-through rate), etc.

These are just a few basic metrics that you can use to measure your Social Media campaigns. So how do you measure the ever important “non-tangible” Social Media ROI?

1. The quality of “buzz” or change in sentiment. Think Twitter buzz or the quality/quantity of blog feedback/comments. Develop an in-house engagement metric.
2. Amount of relevant people handling digital content.
3. Amount of “followers” or new members after a social media campaign. Not everyone’s social media goals is to sell product. Could be a branding goal or a service type goal.

In the end, Social Media campaign goals must lead to increased revenue, SERP rankings, leads, branding/loyalty, or better service. It’s easy to present the tangible information to your boss or client. Make sure the non-tangible information is measured as well.

How to Reach the New Media Influencers

Media is one of the most powerful groups out there. Whether your a big company or a small company, developing relationships with all kinds of media is crucial for your PR campaign. Knowing how to pitch the media is also crucial. Most of the online media world hate PR flacks. The influencer’s such as review site editorial, niche bloggers, or the online and hard copy magazines all have different ways they would like to be approached. For example. I know of one very influential hi-tech gadget blogger that will not look at a PR email blast or a canned email asking to review product. Instead, this blogger wants people to get involved in his blog community first, then pitch him on his FaceBook wall or Twitter. He doesn’t have time to read canned PR email. He wants a 1-2 line pitch he can read FAST and from a person whom he sees in his blog feedback section that’s active in his blog.

How do you find the names, websites, blogs or email address of the influencer’s within in your industry?

Try these resources:

  • www.highbeam.com (Enables searching the blog library, RSS feeds, web to research facts, articles, and journalists in your chosen industry).
  • www.vocus.com (provides a web-based software suite to help find and manage key journalists, analysts, bloggers).
  • www.cision.com (Cision’s MediaSource software enables professionals to compile a general or TARGETED media lists online).

These resources can also have the value benefit of answering questions on how a journalist or blogger accepts pitches or how they like to be contacted. Bloggers are increasing within the media world everyday and attract millions of eyeballs. Within my company I have created a “Bloggers Relations” group inside the Media Relations department. We concentrate on these blogs and establish working, friendly relationships with them. When its time to actually pitch the product or service, our blogger relations people have an easy time convincing the blog editorial on our newest product or service. mediabistro.com is also a great resource for pitching tips and classes.