Social Media, measuring the intangible

As part of the many projects I am running, we’re revising the Social Media strategy and the journey so far had been fun. Part of the challenge with Social Media is measuring what exactly do you get out of it, and how do you measure it?

Mashable did a study where  84% of Social Media Programms don’t measure ROI  in addition, more than 40% of respondents said they didn’t even know whether they could track ROI from their social tools. Not really surprising, in most cases “fluffy” Marketing finds it difficult to quantify any marketing activities. My gripe with Marketing and the way it’s taught is that it doesn’t encourage logical alignment between the hard bottom line and activities such as Social Media. The sense with Social Media is that, “it’s cool, we have to do it, because everyone else is doing it”, without identifying any type of goals. No point in trying to make any attempts to show that it works, if you have no idea what it can do. Even worse, trying to tie it directly to sales and by doing this missing a number of steps altogether.

Looking around, a few presentations rocked my boat like the one from Olivier Blanchard’s of The BrandBuilderMarketing:

Yes the phrase Social Media ROI is incredibly misleading. Social Media needs a measure, but it should not be tied into direct financial impact. Blanchard’s Power Point refer to it as “Non Financial Impact”, leading to more impressions, web visits, click through resulting in more qualified leads resulting in sales. So indirectly it will lead to more sales down the track, assuming the model of any sales cycle starts is a funnel. The more leads fed into the top of the funnel, the number of sales resulting at the end of the funnel will be bigger than when less leads were fed into the funnel.

For me, the challenge is to be able to build metrics for what before looks like compared to now.  As Blanchard points out, Social Media is not free, supplying interesting tidbits on an ongoing basis without any real plan or goals is frivolous.

Step 1.2 for us is to claim back all Social Media channel, continue posting, but with the idea of building ongoing social media presence as well as create traffic back to our site.

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2 thoughts on “Social Media, measuring the intangible

  1. awesome post! Im currently looking to get into social media marketing and update my blog with social media posts which are interesting
    have a look if you’ve got time
    http://liveshoptravel.com/2011/06/19/top-10-best-websites-in-the-past-year/

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