If you had a VCR and a pulse in the mid-to-late 90’s, it is probably safe to assume that you saw the popular movie Jerry Maguire. The movie was a huge hit, and it became an instant classic due to its cast of well-known actors, among them Cuba Gooding Jr. In addition to an Academy Award, Cuba’s role left us with something that will stand the test of time – the infamous phrase, “Show me the money!” This line, of course, is second only to Tom Cruise’s, “You complete me.”
So what is a marketer to do when a client says, “Show me the money!” and asks the marketer to prove their social media value?
In terms of results from a company’s social media efforts, “showing the money” can be a very challenging task. However, as a marketer you can rest assured that (like Rod) your clients will ask you to be show the money when it comes to their social media investment. With that in mind, I recently spent some time investigating best practices for measuring social media results and ROI.
My conclusion? It’s a confusing world out there. But let’s try to make some sense of it.
There are several other metrics that are a bit “softer” but still provide measurable insight regarding the performance of a clients’ social media activity. They include:
- Exposure: In its simplest form, exposure is the sum of all your followers on social media. However, we can take exposure to a more complex level – in which it includes your extended network that can be tapped when followers “Like,” “Share,” or ReTweet” content. The best way to think about a company’s social media exposure is that it represents your entire pool of potential leads from social media.
- Engagement: Engagement represents how many people actually did something with your social media message. In other words, engagement measures the number of times your links were clicked, your message was re-shared, or your content received a comment.
- Influence: This metric is much softer. It is a very subjective metric that requires some defining by each company. Basically, you want to look at the sentiment of those who have engaged with your company on social media. So, for those people that are engaging with you, is their impression positive, negative or neutral?
How do you measure social media success? I would love to hear your thoughts and approach to social media metrics.