Rather than measuring ROI, think of social media strategy as a way to improve customer relationship, counter negative publicity, generate website traffic, and increase brand awareness. This type of marketing strategy is a multi-way dialog – company talks to customers, customers talk to company, and perhaps most importantly – customers talk to each other. It’s very different than the old way of marketing because it’s softer and seeks to create an image for the company in the mind of the customers.
Nevertheless, business owners still need to be able to determine whether or not social media strategy is making an impact on the company, whether it’s company reputation, customer relationship, conversations/discussions, traffic, or SEO ranking.
Here are a few free tools that can help to measure social media channels.
- Blogpulse – This is great for finding blogs that are talking about your company. (http://www.blogpulse.com)
- Summize – It shows Twitter conversations. This is great for finding what other people are talking about your company on Twitter. (http://summize.com)
- Google Alerts – It allows you to set up alerts for any keywords/phrases across the spectrum of Google universal results. (http://www.google.com/alerts)
- Board Tracker – This tool can be used to search for comments or conversations about your company on forums and message boards. (http://www.boardtracker.com)
In conclusion, no matter how you choose to measure social media ROI, the key is that you have a metric in mind before you begin. Without some sort of a goal, it’s impossible to determine the social media ROI.
Contributed by: Thanika Smavatkul, Milestone Internet Marketing