Invisible ROI

One of the reasons many small businesses are hesitant to invest time and money into social media marketing is due to the difficulty in measuring ROI. Just like SEO, building a social media presence takes time and patience; the results won’t be immediately visible.

This infographic, produced by Pagemodo, outlines how marketers perceive ROI from social media, how they measure it, and also offers some alternative suggestions for measuring ROI. It’s interesting to note that the most common way to measure the success of a social media campaign is through the number of link, likes or followers. However, don’t forget that your real reach and influence may be much greater!

ROI from social media is often invisible as you can’t always see the results in the analytics. When conducting a social media campaign it’s important to remember what your end goal is. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Do you want to raise awareness of your business? Do you want to offer an extra line of assistance to your customers? From this information you can then determine how you will measure success.

It’s easy to lose sight of this goal and begin start focusing on gaining more followers and getting more likes and shares, and we become obsessed with the notion of “interaction”. Trust me, the world won’t end if people aren’t posting on your Facebook wall. If your aim is to drive brand awareness, then just having a Facebook page will increase this. Just don’t rest all of your hope of the intrepid sharers!

There has been a lot of talk recently about the power of inactive social media users. While some companies will choose to unfollow inactive users to lower their Twitter follow count, this can be an unwise move. Apart from this being a move which takes the social out of social media it also alienates a large proportion of the Twitter population. According to Mashable, of the 100 million active Twitter users that log in every month, only 60% of these have actually sent a tweet in the past month.

If you’re measuring success on Twitter (or any social media platform for that matter) through re-tweets, likes and shares, then these silent lurkers may not seem like your ideal target audience. However, it’s important to remember that your social media audience is made up of the same mix of people who make up your real-life audience. Just because a user doesn’t have enormous klout and won’t re-tweet your every word, it doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in what you have to say. How many times have you mentioned something you saw on social media in everyday conversation?

And finally, if you aren’t paying for Facebook ads or for regular blog posts, then your only real investment in social media is time, and for that you get free publicity!