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Does social media success need to be defined?
Determining the success of a social media campaign is a difficult task – how do we define its success?
Econsultancy recently published a blog post where the value of social media was questioned – are companies experimenting with social media for the right reasons, and do they even know what results they are getting from their effort? How can social media return on investment be measured when it is such a broad concept?
“For firms who do measure, metrics that reflect reach and engagement (shares, likes, views, downloads etc) are often subjective.” – Are we in a social media bubble? Econsultancy.
This is true, it’s difficult to decipher the return on investment from reach and engagement. However, just because the form of measurement may be subjective, it doesn’t mean it’s not valid.
A client of ours, American Soda, has a successful Facebook page with nearly 12,000 likes. From the beginning of this year ’til the end of May, American Soda’s Facebook page accounts for 1.14% of its total sales. For example, if they turned over £300,000 in total sales, that would equate to £3,000 of revenue directly from Facebook. This may not seem like a high percentage but compare it to how much was spent on the original social media campaign and it’s a successful profit, a ROI of 50% to be exact.
The 1.14% of total sales is the amount of users who visited American Soda’s Facebook page and then went on to purchase items from their website. This figure doesn’t include the ‘subjective’ measurements of reach and engagement but they must be taken into consideration when looking at the total sales figure. For example, American Soda has incorporated Facebook like buttons into its online store and therefore a product liked by thirty people will be shared with each one of their Facebook friends. Moreover, a recent talk at SASCON revealed one out of every ten visits to a website comes from Facebook. How can 10% of your audience be ignored just because reach can be subjective?
A survey by Econsultancy found 47% of companies were not able to measure the value of their social media campaigns. And maybe this is where the problem lies, not with social media itself but with its execution. Followers, likes, engagement and conversation are all essential factors in succeeding with social media but companies also need a clear objective of what they are going to achieve. Putting a lot of time and effort into social conversation is all well and good but companies need to ensure they are creating a balance between investment and payback.
Social media can be an effective tool for communicating and reaching others without even thinking about a return on investment. Just being ‘out there’ and communicating your brand or services to the public can be of benefit. This poses the question whether social media needs to be measured to show its worth? What do you think?