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Social ROI??

Social MediaIn almost any conversation about social media, the question of ROI comes up. Of course, with the investment of time, staff and other resources...you should want to know the value your social media is bringing to your organization!

There's a variety of ways you can measure ROI, depending on your situation and platform. Here's 5 steps to help you get started.

1.    Determine why you're on Social Media in the first place: You need to know why you're using a specific platform before you can decide if it's accomplished its goal. You may be trying to drive traffic to your website, building your newsletter subscription, increasing hits to a blog, or some other objective. Must make sure you know your primary goal. (Note, I said primary because Social Media can absolutely do several of these objectives...but it's vital to know your primary goal).

2.    Know the value of a given action: You won't be able to know the ROI on your social media platform, if you can't attribute a value to your main objective. What is the value of a new name on your email list? What is the value of a specific percentage increase of traffic to your site? Without knowing this value, you may find that your primary objective is being met...but still have no idea of the ROI for your efforts.

3.    Have measurement tools in place: If increasing your names on your email list is your objective, you need to be monitoring your email list to know when the number goes up. If increasing traffic to a given page on your website is your objective, you need to be monitoring your analytics to know when traffic increases and if it's coming from your social media presence. Basically, make sure whatever you set as your primary objective is being monitored!

4.    Recognize Correlations: Sometimes it's easy to overlook the value of a Social Media ROI. For example, if your primary objective was to increase attendance at an event, you'd need to watch for correlations. If your social media team and your sales team aren't communicating, it could go unnoticed that your social media team started social conversations at exactly the same point where ticket sales increased. If you don't watch for the correlation, you might just think "Good! Sales are up...the word must be getting out." Knowing it's tied to your social strategy is key to finding a true ROI.

5.    Put in the time: While social media is very "instant," finding the ROI is not. When you have your objectives, your assigned value, your measurements and you watch for correlations-you then must examine your data and calculate the ROI-just like any other part of the business structure.

You may be surprised to find the value your Social Media is bringing! But if you're not...don't lose heart! There's a variety of strategies and tactics that can be used to refine your results...we'll be sharing those with you!

Carolyn Kim
Ambassador Advertising Agency: We Connect. Ministry and Media.

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