I’m going to be going much more in depth with social media ROI in the coming months so I’m hoping you stick around with me. My company Chess Media Group (I’m told the site goes live Monday!) has been working on some very exciting things in the ROI space that we will be announcing and showcasing over the course of the next few months. First off, I should preface this by saying that Chess Media Group is a social business consultancy and not a social media consultancy. This means we look at how social media impacts business; we don’t just see social media as another “media” channel. Now having said that let me also state that the key to any successful social media strategy (and subsequently a campaign) is going to start with building and setting up an ROI framework. Forget about launching three month campaigns all the time and just relax for a minute. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a social media presence to respond to issues that arise online. I’m saying don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign without an ROI framework, it’s pointless. Again, start from setting up your ROI framework.
I can definitely go into this in more depth and I will over the next few months, but let’s start off with some of the things that a social media ROI diagnostic should accomplish. A social media ROI diagnostic should give you the following:
- A solid understanding of how the business operates, makes money, and interacts with customers.
- A solid definition and understanding of what exactly ROI is and what impact is, ROI = financial; Impact = non-financial
- Insight into how existing analytics platforms work within the site, what do they calculate; what can/can’t they do?
- What are the company business objectives for all of the social media efforts and what are their respective metrics and benchmarks? This should be broken down by business function or department. See Metrics Man for a good example of what I mean.
- Analysis of a customer database or CRM system and what their capabilities are and how they can be integrated with other solutions.
- Analysis of any overlap between social media ROI and traditional marketing ROI, the goal here it to improve and maximize both.
- Idea of what the quick ROI wins are (low hanging fruit anyone?) and what the longer term approaches are.
- Resource analysis in terms of who (most likely a team) is going to be managing the social media efforts and how they are going to be managed
- A breakdown of business challenges and opportunities that are keeping the company from calculating ROI (can be complex, we will explore this in detail later).
- A breakdown of the technology challenges and opportunities that are keeping the company from calculating ROI (also can be very complex and something we will cover later).
- Increased marketing credibility and authority within the company
All of the above topics can be expanded upon; however, this should give you an idea of the types of things you want to accomplish from a social media ROI diagnostic. I firmly believe that setting up a solid social media ROI framework will not only allow you to understand, measure, and maximize social media ROI but also allow you to improve your marketing ROI and accountability as a whole. This type of framework focuses on enterprise size clients with large budgets. As you can see understanding and getting to ROI is not a trivial task, especially for a global company. The good news is that once you run your initial ROI diagnostic you won’t have to do it again for quite a while, if ever with the exception of continuous monitoring and adapting.
The reality is that moving forward companies (enterprise companies especially) are absolutely going to need a more accountable way of measuring their social media efforts, it might not happen tomorrow or next month; but you better believe that with companies like Chess Media Group offering ROI and accountability services that this is going to become a standard and an absolute must for measuring social media efforts. One-off solutions or simple analysis of Google analytics aren’t going to cut it guys; we’re talking about full-scale solutions here; solutions that are going to be at the foundation of all of your social media efforts.
It’s time to get real about Social Media ROI; no more bullshit.