6 Expert Tips for Measuring Social Media ROI

Think calculating social media ROI is impossible? Think again.┬áThis Wednesday, October 3 at 2pm ET, the awesome Nichole Kelly, author of “Measure Up: A Step by Step Guide to Social Media Measurement”, will share how to prove the value of your social media efforts at the free webinar, “Reporting Social Media ROI to the C Suite“.

To give you a taste of the great advice she has in store for you this Wednesday, I caught up with Nichole and asked her about her favorite social media tools, common mistakes to avoid, and more. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What social media metrics do most marketers overlook (but shouldn’t?)

Cost per lead, both the soft lead (someone who provides contact information for content) and the hard lead (someone who provides contact information for product information). Others are cost per click, cost per site visit, cost per inbound link.

2. What are your favorite tools for measuring social media marketing?

I like to use Google’s Analytics custom URL parameters to pass data from links shared in social channels into the Google Analytics interface. I’ve also become pretty fond of SocialSnap, which is the tool that is most closely aligned with the Full Frontal ROI methodology that I’ve found.

3. What are the most common mistakes marketers make when measuring social media performance?

We make it too hard and we present the wrong data to the C-Suite. We’re trying to use “social” metrics like fans, followers, shares etcetera instead of core business drivers like sales volume, revenue and cost. Every marketer can measure cost, right now, but instead I see reports with follower growth instead of things like cost per impression, cost per engagement and cost per lead.

4. When marketers walk into the office in the morning, what is the first social media metrics they should look at?

As a community manager it’s important to look at the standard social metrics, like audience growth and engagement. That’s what I look at, but I also look at cost per impression, cost per engagement and cost per lead to see if we are headed in the right direction.

5. What are some of the most common misconceptions about measuring social media marketing?

That it’s hard. Social media interactions take place on the web, which is inherently more measurable than offline channels like print, TV and Radio. Measuring social media is actually really easy and most marketers have the tools they need. They just need to start using them a different way.

6. Is it really possible to calculate the value or a Fan or follower? If so, how?

Yes, it’s super easy. The value of a Fan or Follower is $0. That’s right, $0. Until you can correlate that a fan or follower is more likely to buy, will purchase at a higher frequency, or will retain as a customer longer there is no monetary value for a fan or follower. Because most aren’t measuring that type of impact today, the value today is $0. But if you measure it, it can actually be much higher. :-)