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Social Media is a wonderful thing… or it can be! It allows for a brand to engage directly with their customers, one on one… in real-time. It has an incredible and indefinable reach potential. With so much going for it, why is it so hard for Corporations to jump on board? Despite all its accolades, measuring the success of social media remains problematic.  Determining ROI is difficult to assess simply because the cost of social media is difficult to assess.

The Creative Group recently did a survey, interviewing more than 250 marketing and advertising executives, and determined that 27% of  them found measuring results the biggest road block with social media.

There are multiple factors that contribute to the problem:

  1. Results aren’t always instantaneous. Social media is used to raise brand awareness and develop customer relationship over long periods of time.
  2. The value of a “Like” on Facebook can mean different things depending whether or not the customer continues to be engaged after liking a product or page.
  3. Engagement can be positive or negative.

cost of social media

There are ways, however, to determine the success of your social media campaign based on your goals:

  • Awareness: if you want to measure your brands awareness reach and virality are indicators you want to look for. How many people have seen it and how many have shared it?
  • Establishing a relationship with customers: if a relationship with customers is your goal you need look at engagement. How many likes and followers do you have? How many people comment and share? Is the discussion positive? Are people retweeting?
  • Traffic: Are you trying to drive traffic to a website that sells goods through Facebook? If so, you need to look at actions, number of clicks, cost per clicks and link sharing.

Determining your vision of success enables you to know what to look for once you have the data… then you need to turn all that data into information.

Many social networks provide their on analytic services, for example Facebook insights. Facebook insights allows for a brand to track growth in terms of likes, reach and who is talking about the brand. It provides metrics to let you know where each like came from, to allowing you to evaluate media channels and their success. It provides all kinds of different demographic and geographic profiles… which status posts did well, which didn’t. This allows you to assess the type of future posts to add.

If you looking for the success of a social media campaign outside of the platform used, Google Analytics offers conversion services that helps determine the monetary value gained due to visits directed from social media sites. There are also some very comprehensive dashboard platforms that enables for social media integration.

When determining a brand impression, Sysomos has a service that monitors social media conversation and determines how much of it is positive, negative or neutral.

Knowing how to create and define a successful social media campaign can go a long way in building a brand and achieving a high return on investment. To learn more about ROI, read out blog “Brand Building: How to maximize ROI”

These are just a few of the options available to help make sense of social media. How do you measure your social media campaigns?