How do we define and measure the metrics for social media? We all know it needs to be done. We all know social media is important. But in the hospitality industry, how do we know that everything we do on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are worth our time? The pros share their thoughts on how small businesses can make the most of these tools.
At the session Analytics for Social Media at SMX West 2011, top social media experts said that establishing key metrics for ROI is important. However, if you only focus on monetary ROI, you miss the bigger picture. They agreed – don’t sell to your audience without understanding them first. And it is here where you will find the benefit of social media.
- Filiberto Selves, VP of Products, Meteor Solutions – Selves reports that the best metric is measuring “shares.” For example, you wrote a wall post on Facebook. You need to know how effective it was. You need to measure how often your network shared your message with their network. That secondary audience is called your “brand advocate.” Once you understand how to reach brand advocates, you can invite them to be part of your network. Now, you just increased your reach. With a broaden reach and larger audience, your call to action (like book a hotel room now), has a higher probability of yielding conversion.
- Daniel Lemin, Founder & Principal, Social Studio – He clarified social networking measurements are about people, not money. Therefore, the first metrics to look at are not only shares, but what is being shared, the number of likes/dislikes, the number a retweets, and other behaviors. Businesses need to examine what their current networks are interested in that would motivate them take some type of action.
- Dilip Venkatachari, CEO and Co-Founder, Compass Labs – Venkatachari said that once you establish what messages resonate with specific demographics in your audience, you can then cater your messages for just that demographic. It’s not safe to assume that everyone on social media is ready to convert. What you should do is understand what messages sparks their interest first. Speak to them on their level and at their stage in the purchasing cycle. Maintain a conversation, and the convert.
The experts at SMX agreed – businesses should not apply money as the single metric for ROI. In fact, it is more detrimental in the long run to have a myopic view of return. Instead, businesses need to view social media as a means to connect and converse with their target audience. By doing so, businesses need to establish measurements for connections and conversation. With that said, the metrics that make the most sense of social media are items like frequency, influence, likes/dislikes, retweets, and other consumer behaviors.
Contributed by: Nelson Toriano, Sr. e-Strategist, Milestone Internet Marketing