If a tree falls in the forest, can you cut it into firewood and heat your cabin for the winter? Because that would be good and justify the work effort. You might even say you got a good return on your investment, but that’s kind of obvious, which is what I always think when people bring up the return on investment for social media.
Social media is media. It’s marketing. It’s messaging. It’s digital and it can be measured. The problem, we say, is that we lack unified standards, but that shouldn’t stop you from tying your social media strategy and plans to the rest of your marketing effort.
Step one, like our friends at Buffer say, is to choose a goal. First, articulate your desired outcome. Are you driving people to take a trial of your service, encouraging them to download a white paper or hoping they’ll give over three minutes of their time to watch your capabilities video? And don’t say “yes” or “all of the above.” Be clear and be fair.
Then, think about social media like any other campaign and figure out how much it would cost to achieve those same goals using traditional methods. This infographic lays out six steps to measuring ROI, including setting and tracking goals, through to conversion as well as understanding how much it cost to get there. It’s part science, part common sense and wholly worthwhile.