How to Measure Social Media ROI
By James Saward-Anderson
One of the most common reservations that are heard when speaking to marketing managers at B2B (business-to-business) companies or business leaders looking to target clients on social media comes from a lack of understanding over how to quantify success.
This problem can quickly be resolved when you remember the People, Process, and Technology framework, which underpins all elements of social media transformation. This framework is crucial in developing the tools to ensure your program yields demonstrable results:
- People: The right people with the right attitude and the proper training to deliver on a campaign
- Process: The correct roadmap of development which guides all transformation activity
- Technology: The proper tools to measure social media activity that’s fully integrated into your customer management system
In the example of sales and marketing transformation, the ultimate success of a program comes down to how many more sales leads are created.
Using the above framework, one can map out exactly what success looks like and quantify it. Below are some quick-fire examples:
- People: Total number of program participants, growth of participants over time, or program feedback
- Process: Training modules completed, social media activity increase, share-of-voice increase in target audience group, demand generated, or pipeline size
- Technology: Sales Navigator (lead tracking), Shield App (Content engagement, follower growth, valuation of the profile), Salesforce (pipeline value, deals added), SSI score growth
There are two common roadblocks that people face when they try to implement these elements in their business. These roadblocks are time and knowledge. Social Media success involves many resources that many people do not have in the short term, which is why it is vital to outsource until the second element (knowledge) is supplemented in organizations.
The best social media teams combine external resources (time) and longer-term training programs, coaching, and eventually hiring (knowledge) to achieve social media success.
This success ultimately takes many forms, but the roadmap to follow depends on the limitations you face.
Meltwater is a media monitoring and social listening platform and has been implementing a social selling program for its Europe, the Middle East and Africa team on LinkedIn. The campaign currently focuses on its accounts team, who are tasked with engaging with target accounts across various business verticals.
This process starts with building a database that is then split into different subcategories. The data is sourced using in-house technology combined with LinkedIn Sales Navigator (LinkedIn’s premium tools) and general web searches.
After this stage, the information is organized into subcategories depending on the personas or critical accounts. The data is then paired to social media profiles, and briefs are created for each user based on social media usage, shared connections, and other relevant information.
The account team then engages these contacts using a combination of direct messaging and content engagement. The campaign also focuses on helping them digitalize the networking element of the events they attend and improve internal social selling capability.
Measuring success ultimately comes down to demand generated from social media (in this case, LinkedIn) campaigns. Data such as connections accepted messaged replied, and downloads are simple ways of keeping track of the campaign’s success.
To conclude, demonstrating the success of social media is dependent on understanding your goals and objectives, implementing the right technology, and finally following the correct processes to ensure that these goals are met.
About the Author
James Saward-Anderson is co-founder of social tree global, a specialist B2B social media consultancy.