Enough with the vanity social media metrics!

social ROIBrands are demanding results from social media. They want ROI. Quite rightly too.

Social has matured and now investment is required for paid and organic (and the content to go with it all). Yet 52% of marketers say they still struggle to prove the worth of social media.  The issue is that there is still much enthusiasm in measuring numbers: numbers of followers, numbers of retweets, numbers of fans, numbers of likes, and the list goes on.

As measurement goes, the numbers game just skims the surface. Delivering ROI, and proving value, is in the detail. And one specific measure that is often missed is the quality of your social audiences.

I don’t mean screen grabs of conversations, but a detailed understanding of your fan base. Who are you talking to? Are you investing in conversations with the right audience?

We’re already wary of fake followers, but who are our fans

Thankfully, most marketers understand that there is no value in bought followers. Those with fake follows are finding themselves exposed. However, many brands focus on acquiring fans through competitions and discount sign ups.

A good mechanic for reach, but it can sometimes skew an audience segment. Offers and competitions can attract audiences with no real interest in the brand. And so whilst your numbers swell, you may see no ROI, because you are talking to the wrong people – who probably aren’t listening anymore anyway!

Maybe, talking a leaf out of the B2B world, lead scoring is the way forward if you want to know the value of your social audiences,

Asking the wrong question of analytics

A monitoring tool is a must for any brand that is serious about social. But there are still very few organisations that are using third generation analytics software. Tools that allow you to dig deeper into audience profiles.

The latest tools allow you to delve into audience affinities (what else your fans like), biographies, influences and so on. Which in turn enables you to build detailed audience profiles. With more audience insight, comes the opportunity to segment your customers and understand where your focus needs to be for commercial gain.

Move to social CRM

Being smart with your social efforts goes hand in hand with a better understanding of where social impacts the customer journey. Mapping all your channels to market alongside social to understand the purchase path is enormously helpful in determining the value of your marketing investment.

Ultimately, brands need to be turning their attention to social CRM. Joining the dots between social audiences and all customer connections. It is not an easy process and it will be an evolution of systems and processes. However, in moving towards a customer centric view, the commercial impact of social initiatives become clearer.


Measuring social media is clearly not all about understanding your audience, but delving deeper into profiles, segmenting fans and joining the dots across the purchase funnel will go a long way to give brands the information to determine what does delivers an ROI.


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