Is Measuring ROI With Social Media Possible?

I came across a great post written by Christina Warren on Mashable titled “HOW TO: Measure Social Media ROI.” Not only is this post organized in a way that is very easy to follow, it literally walks a public relations professional, or student, through the process of how to measure the return of investment a social media campaign can offer. In a money-driven business world, this is an essential tool.

According to Warren, and the affiliated Mashable team, 84 percent of social media programs don’t measure return on investment.

Obviously, businesses are diving head first into the world of social media. However, for a business to remain successful it must compare what works with what does not – what makes and what looses money.

This is why a business, brand, or product needs to assess the impact a social media campaign is having. Whether this be awareness or monetary driven, a measurement of ROI can be difficult, but not impossible.

Warren points out that there are many aspects of a social media campaign that are difficult to track. The post offers a guide on how to track these pieces and fully determine the ROI the business is receiving.

Also included in the post is a PowerPoint created by Olivier Blanchard titled “The Basics Of Social Media ROI.” It takes a humorous and fun approach to a boring topic. Everyone has experienced death by PowerPoint in some form or fashion. His approach avoids the drooling, half awake PowerPoint comatose state and effectively establishes a base on which to build upon.

The rest of the post is broken up into categories including Defining Clear Goals, Metrics Tools, Sentiment Analysis, Social Media Product Suites and Making the Data Usable.

As a student and working professional of public relations, this information is highly useful.

PR students at Texas Tech University are required to take a marketing class where they obtain the knowledge of how to use marketing tools, such as how to measure ROI. However, that is where the application ends. I question if TTU will incorporate a more comprehensive teaching method that will help future PR professionals have an edge on the competition. Not to would be to hinder the future success of PR students.

In the working world, to be able to measure ROI in a social media campaign and show that to a client reveals stability. It can also be used as a strong, motivating sales pitch to prospective or existing clients. This, in turn, means more money. We would not be in this field if not to make money. That’s called a volunteer.

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