How to measure social media

How to measure social media

Social Media.Yes, it’s great but how do you measure it? I hear this statement a lot by business people trying to grasp with this new way of communication and its applications for marketing, sales, customer service, PR, research and more. A lot has been written about the topic of how to measure social media. Some people are for measuring every dollar and minute that goes into social media efforts, and some are against measuring it. Some people are justifying it with a simple statement of “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?. You do it every day,right?” or  “How do you measure the relationship with your husband/wife?”

So, how do you measure social media? Is that such a thing as ROI, whether that’s Return on Investment or Return on Interaction? Should we measure ROE – Return on Engagement?

Olivier Blanchard developed a very nice presentation on how to measure social media efforts. It’s one of the best I’ve seen so far:

Olivier Blanchard Basics Of Social Media Roi

A survey by Deloitte, Beeline Labs and the Society for New Communications Research states that  there is a “significant gaps between community goals (such as generating word of mouth, customer loyalty and brand awareness) and how success is being measured.

The top two analytics for measuring success are the number of active users (34%) and how often people post/comment (32%), which indicates that participation is still considered to be the biggest measure of success.”


A few more examples of how some people/businesses measure their social media efforts:

  1. Scott Gould, founder of Like Minds, put on a conference that was strictly promoted via social media. His conference produced sales of 5,800 British pounds with 0 marketing budget.
  2. The Huffington Post reported Facebook referrals increase of 48% through their Facebook Connect feature which has accounted for 3.5 million visits.
  3. Pure Michigan soared to 20,000 Facebook Fans. In a previous post I wrote I referenced Gammet Interactive and Dave Serino’s study of how social each US state is. Michigan at the time of the study came up to Number 7 in the country in terms of how well they utilize social media.

In my opinion, before you struggle to find ways to measure social media, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why are you engaging on social media? What is your purpose and business objectives? This will lead to what’s important to you to measure.
  2. How do you currently measure your marketing efforts? There are many similar measures that you can use in measuring social media.
  3. How do you currently measure your PR efforts? There are metrics that you could implement for your social media efforts as well.
  4. How do you measure your customer service? A simple metric like Net Promoter Score could be used as a benchmark prior to your social media efforts and after you get involved.
  5. What website analytics are you using? There are various services that implement social media measurements with your website reports to provide a global view and give you a really good idea of what’s working best.

The measurement tools exist. My challenge to you is to think about social media more in terms of a two-way dialogue and less in terms on dollar signs. If you are transparent and authentic, bring value to people, answer their questions and give them information they seek, they will remember you when it’s time to purchase your product/service. Your bottom line will improve.

What do you think? Do you currently use social media? Are you measuring it? If so, how?

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About Milena Regos

Marketer, Consultant and Creator of the Simple Marketing Blueprint online marketing course for busy professionals.