Social Media ROI: It's Possible With These 7 Metrics

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automotive-social-media-marketing-trainingFor years now you’ve heard everywhere that you can’t measure Social Media ROI (return on investment). I’m not sure if it’s been an excuse to discount Social Media’s value or a fear of adapting to a new marketing model. Perhaps a little bit of both.

Marketing Charts recently outlined on a new report by the Platt Retail Institute, conducted in association with the American Marketing Association comparing marketers’ rankings of various channels’ budget allocations against the channels’ perceived importance and ROI. The study reveals that of the 11 channels identified, Social Media marketing ranks 4th in both current importance and ROI but ranks only 6th in budget allocation.

Scott Monty of Ford Social explained in his blog that “The study reveals there’s a mismatch between marketing budget and effectiveness in key areas. Two are mass media and customer support, which are being overspent on versus their return on investment. Alternatively, email and social are being underspent on while they have a more effective ROI.”

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When you know more, you can do more. Social Media’s ROI can be tracked. But keep in mind that tracking is only the measurement of the result of your efforts. You must be able to tie those results back to your objectives to get real return on investment.

The following are Facebook objectives and results we track here at Kruse Control on a weekly basis:

1. Community Growth: number of likes obtained. This metric shows how your page is growing and can be tied in with budget spent on Facebook Ads.

2. Engagement: number of likes, comments and shares. Content is what drives your Social Media success. When you track how your content is being received by the audience, you get smarter about what to post in the future.

3. Total Reach: number of people that viewed your content. This is another metric that can be tied to Facebook Ad spend. Facebook allows you now to pay to reach more people. While it’s a lot different than even last year at this time, as a Facebook marketer I’m glad to have that available to me.

4. Popular Posts: The posts got the highest engagement. This is a useful metric for content curation. As marketers, we always use our best guess as to what the audience is looking for. Keeping track of your most popular posts allows you to give your audience more of what they like. I have a client who shares a lot of content around a certain female service advisor. She’s well known in the community and has a bubbly, enthusiastic personality. Their posts with Mackenzie get off-the-chart engagement.

5. Budget Spent (Facebook Ads, software tools, design, etc). Facebook is not free. You have to pay to play. If you want to increase your reach then you need a budget for ads. Beyond an ad budget, you’ll need money for software monitoring tools, scheduling software, photos and graphic design. Since it’s actual money spent, this is the easiest one to track.

6. Leads: number of leads generated. This is the golden ring here folks. There are two types of leads from Facebook – organic and traditional. Organic leads happen in the comments section of your posts. Share a special offer and many times someone will ask, “How long is this on for?” or “Do you service Nissans?” Be ready to answer their question and pose another one to keep them engaged.

The traditional type of lead comes from a more proactive approach. It involves the strategic use of Facebook Ads that click through to specific landing pages. There are thousands of ways to use this tactic, it all ties back to your objectives and the results you’re looking for.

7. Sales: number of sales closed. Because of their very nature, organic leads will be known intimately by your Social Media manager. They’ve had conversations with the lead sometimes over months. When you’re running more traditional campaigns with landing pages, it’s helpful to have lead tracking software to know who the leads were so you can follow up on them.

Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. Her Kruse Control Blog is the leading Automotive Social Media blog in the US.
Kathi Kruse

@kathikruse

Social Media Marketing, Online Reputation. Consultant, Trainer, Blogger, Speaker, Author. Founder/CEO Kruse Control Inc. Yoga, horses, animal advocate.
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Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse
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  • http://www.facebook.com/syedkashifulhasnain Syed Kashif Ul Hasnain

    This is really a very valuable and informative post… :)

  • http://twitter.com/aschottmuller Angie Schottmuller

    Thanks for the Marketing Charts report link. Great data!

    Good points on metrics for consideration too. I’m not a fan of considering the number of followers or fans (item #1) from an ROI perspective though because it doesn’t have any real tangible value. The number of identified advocates does have value easily attributed to various goals at different levels of the sales funnel, so filtering those from general “followers” would be useful.

    ROI requires assessment of how effective a tactic was at achieving a goal. Marketers still need to start at the goal-level instead of trying to force-align tactics back to a goal post-implementation. Here’s a recent post on did on @SEWatch with strategic planning info: Social Media ROI: How To Define a Strategic Plan. I don’t see the “goals before tactics” guide here, so I just thought I’d mention it.

    Thoughts?

    • krusecontrol

      Thanks Angie. I also believe in “goals before tactics”. I’ve blogged about that subject many times so I thought I’d just refer to it in this post.

      I DO believe that community count (Likes) is important for ROI. Growing fans on Facebook that are in your primary market area is super important (as I’m sure you agree). From an ROI perspective, community growth is a goal of my clients and when you are using Facebook ads to increase likes, it’s best to keep track so you know the results you’re getting. Not a “tangible” value but a metric to be measured for sure.

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  • Rocky Rawstern

    “When you know more, you can do more.” — I like it!! As usual, this is great information, Kathi! Thanks.

    • krusecontrol

      Thanks for your support (again) Rocky!

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