Social Media ROI (Qualitative & Quantitative)

On December 29, 2011 • By

Social Media ROI. Every CMO’s nightmare. Lots of things happening – but where’s the ROI on this? – Is the million dollar question. Recently, I had written how my current organization used Social Media for Recruiting, and given a Case Study on Social Media Recruiting ROI. Today’s blog post is about a specific site in question – I was recently chatting with someone from one of the Top tier Travel DotComs in India, and we both converged on the same point – ‘What Social Strategies to use to take the Social Media Efforts’ of Brand A to the next level, and how do we get the Social Media ROI on this?

Personally, I believe, if your company earns its revenues, primarily – either by selling core Products and/or Services online, i.e. you’re a B2B, B2C or C2C portal – Social and Mobile is the future. It means:

  • You may have the best product(s)/service(s) in question, and a Web2.0 website – but unless there’s a Social and Mobile feature integration therein, chances are you wouldn’t make the cut.
  • Integrating Social & Mobile features requires – planning, conceptualization, preparation of work flows, coding, integration, testing – UI, Usability, Features and so on. Thus, this ain’t free and involves – money, energy, manpower and time.

On the Social front, there are 2 ways in which the efforts of a company could be classified and further studied in detail:

  1. Qualitative Efforts, Strategies & ROI
  2. Quantitative Efforts, Strategies & ROI

1. Qualitative:

This would include:

  • Building online brand presence
  • Strengthening online brand presence with already existing customers/clients (via Royalty programs)
  • Repositioning of brand (e.g. starting out as a Custom-Gift-E-Retailer to Apparel & Fashion e-Retailer now)
  • Community Management

Community Management: To have presence in as many social networks as possible is not of value from an e-commerce point-of-view. Its technically better to be selective of social networks and then optimize presence therein. Building a community around a brand is extremely vital as well in the long run, and technically, if you’re planning for an F-Commerce application in the near future, community management will definitely play an important role.

Let us assume, our Brand A has presence on via a Facebook Fan page. What are the Qualitative elements we could spot from here?

For Brand A, using a good Community Management Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, like, Sprinklr, or Radian6, or Spreadfast, or Shoutlet, can enable the community manager(s) of the page to identify 3 Core Areas:

1. Moderation, Handling & Escalation of:

  • Content for Removal: spiteful, malicious, inflammatory language, threats, proprietary information, personal contact information, misuse of client’s trademarks, logos, images for self promotion, unsolicited advertising or links to spam (software viruses, campaigns, chain letters, mass mailing, sexually explicit content).
  • Guess Issues: specific guest experience pertaining to using Brand A website online, product/services, stores (online/offline), team members/staff, corporate information request.
  • Brand Reputation Issues: comments arising from negative incidents, news stories, mergers/acquisitions/b