While Social media is a new kid in the block, the promises it holds are huge. It enables the marketeer to host a platform to hear what his consumers have to say about him, engage them and engineer products/services. In short it allows the marketeer to pro-create with the consumer.From a marketeers point of view, their is an abundance of media vehicles and the final choice of media is very often led by RoI or Cost/Benefit analysis. It is very interesting that calculating the RoI/ Payback of Social media is still based on the age old business perspectives and principles. So the tool and the procedure remains the same.It is just the metrics that have evolved.
Presenting the pointers to calculating the efficiency of marketing initiatives in social media:
1. Start from the objective. The more precise and focussed defination of the question, the better is the probability of a meaningful answer.
2. Identify ways to measure your objective/put metrics
3. A prior measurement of scores in the metrics sets the base
4. Identify gaps between your objective metric scores and the base scores.
5. Set time bound targets on the Gaps
6. Identify the investments you are willing to put in targets and gaps
7. Execution of the plan
8. Against the investments that have been put, the %age increase/decrease of your metrics against your targets will give you the efficacy of the programme.
Since we are talking social media initiatives, the metrics can be chosen from the list:
Views/hits; Followers/Subscribers; Comments/Blogs/Tweets/Board Posts; Tonality; Frequency; Sales; Inbound Links; Engagement Metrics; Visibility/Credibility; Inbound Links; Profile visibility @ SEO; Referrals and others.
There is another part that cannot be measured: Cross Referencing of the suite of products/services through Social Media (i.e influence of social media on perception of the brand when you seem to be only talking about the product/solution/platform.)