Social Media ROI: A Thousand Small Wins

We like measurement.  We need measurement.  Often we’re evaluated and sometimes defined by measurement. 

Social media measurement and ROI have become increasingly hot topics as time, resources, and (some) money have been carved off traditional marketing and communications approaches to experiment with these emerging channels.  Some who buy into social media, those who are already drinking the kool-aid often view the ROI question with the quasi-aloofness of the cool kids in high school who have the “don’t you get it?” attitude.

But even though there are still cool kids among us, we need to hold ourselves accountable and to measure the return on our resources especially as those resources are stretched and become scarcer.   With social media, as with all media forms, there are hard and soft measurements with the direct link to ROI remaining a bit elusive. 

A great introduction to this discussion is the Mashable article How To: Measure Social Media .  This article brings you through the traditional (and some find boring) financial ROI thought process.  It also introduces the standard web metrics such as number of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and LinkedIn group members and emphasizes the need to at least correlate these new-fangled metrics with financial results and performance.  So check out this article and also Oliver Blanchard’s humorous SlideShare presentation  Basics of Social Media ROI .

But for social media newbies I would strongly suggest that you  take a slightly different perspective and rely more on softer measurements which leads me back to the “thousand small wins” that we’re using to measure the INTERPHEX social media efforts. 

Here are some of our wins:

  • Booth Sale. Through our LinkedIn Group, Pragma QS requested exhibiting information which we turned into a booth sale for INTERPHEX Puerto Rico.
  • Exhibitor Customer Service.  By tracking INTERPHEX mentions on Twitter, we came across a question from an exhibitor PR agency for media contact information.  Through our Twitter tracking we were able to immediately fulfill the request.
  • Speaker Recruitment.  When a speaker dropped out from an INTERPHEX conference session, we posted a request for speaker in an industry LinkedIn Group and with an hour had four potential speakers volunteer.
  • Exhibitor Promotion.  Here’s a recent INTERPHEX Facebook posting,   “L.B. Bohle is launching its high-efficiency tablet coater at INTERPHEX.”  Even though this sounds innocuous enough, it’s  significant that  exhibitors have become Facebook fans and have started to use the INTERPHEX fan page to promote their products.

For INTERPHEX we will also continue to measure our progress with harder measurements, but as a starting point our main social media metric will remain “a thousand small wins”.  So 4 wins under our belt.  Only 996 more to go . . .

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