The definitive guide of how to measure the ROI of your social media activity – part 2

Following on from last week’s post, we are now looking at steps 2, 3 and 4 to measure the ROI for your social media activity:

Step 2: identify your inputs vs outputs

When you are new to the social media game, it can be a little bit too much of a jump to go from ‘so if I follow this person’ to that means ‘I win business’. This is where measuring your activity and the results of your activity can have a discernable difference with your effectiveness on social media. (Particularly in the early days of being on social media)

I am not talking here about becoming a slave to your klout score. What I’m talking about is identifying the outputs you get for the inputs you do, such as:

  • Increase in views of my LinkedIn profile after I have added in more keywords or changed the text
  • Increase in number of followers I get when I post up different types of content, or changing the time at which I post.
  • Number of visitors to your website based on what is being posted or talked about

These are ‘activity’ based measures, and until you have an established social media presence, essential for you to be measuring. These measures allow you and your firm to suss out general social media cause and effect. They also help you understand about what works and what doesn’t work, with a view to then starting to measure outcome based ROI measures. (see step 3)

Step 3: Identify your ‘outcome’ based measures

If you have a clearly defined social media strategy (see what should go in your social media strategy) then it becomes easy to identify the right outcomes to measure. Some good outcomes to measure, that I have seen firms look at:

  • New business won, where social media has been used in part of the business development process
  • New business won from relationships built or maintained using social media
  • Number of people attending a virtual or physical seminar as a result of publicizing the event on social media
  • Introducers moved from ‘outer circle’ into ‘inner circle’ as a result of using social media – where ‘outer circle’ and ‘inner circle’ have been clearly defined.

Step 4: Decide on how, when and where you will track and monitor your activity and outcome based measures.

It’s not enough to know what KPIs are you want to impact as part of your social media strategy. You need to actually measure and monitor these, and root cause where you are getting a gap versus your action and intended impact. The question is, who is going to do this? How will the management information be recorded on your firm’s systems? What forums will the results be reviewed in? Who will record the information on your management information systems?

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