A major challenge of measuring the ROI of social media PR and marketing is that companies don't know the answers to these questions:
“What is the ROI of our current marketing? From the x dollars we spend on marketing, how many y customers do we get?”
“What’s our contact-to-conversion ratio? How many site visitors/phone calls/emails/handshakes does it take for us to get a customer?”
“When we asked our customers, ‘How did you hear about us?’, what did they answer?” (Oops, we forgot to ask.)
While we've found that intending the business use of social media to result in direct sales results in direct disappointment, social media PR and marketing - as does traditional PR and marketing - ultimately must result in ROI.
Companies who don't know answers to questions about the results of their marketing efforts can start to measure them now. They can do it themselves, without the help of a social media consultancy – although we're here to serve should a company want assistance! – by simply going online and doing a before-and-after measurement using two simple benchmarks.
Two Simple Benchmarks
- Site Traffic
- Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
Site Traffic as a Benchmark
- How much traffic does our company’s site have now?
- How much does it have after the implementation of a social media strategy?
- Is a change in site traffic correlated with a change in the number of leads/prospects/customers in our sales funnel?
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) as a Benchmark
- When we use keywords related to our products and services in search engines, where is our company listed? First page? No? 68% click a search result within the first page of results… (iProspect).
- When we use our company as a search query, what comes up? “It’s who you know” – Is what’s listed good information about us that we created to manage our brand? Is it extraneous stuff about something or someone else? Worse, is it a bad review?
- After implementing a social media strategy, where do our company’s products and services show in search engine results? What sites are listed when we use our company as a search term?
"How did you hear about us?" Realistically speaking, busy companies are going to continue to forget to ask that question. Making the phone call, composing and sending out the email, creating the survey, keeping track of the answers – all that takes time.
Using these two simple benchmarks in a before-and-after fashion will still not answer "How did you hear about us?" But it will begin to answer how many have heard and how they're finding a company and its products and services - or not finding them.
What’s the ROI of social media marketing? Using these two simple benchmarks, companies can start to measure results and answer that question for themselves.