Everything that counts has to be measured but not everything that can be measured counts. Similar is the case with social media optimization or social media marketing. It is a subjective issue as of now where everyone has an opinion, but nobody agrees on the solution.
The question about how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for social media participation comes up in every workshop of every social media evangelist or communicator.
In the absence of any accepted metrics, businesses still need to be able to determine whether or not a social media program is giving you the desired results and whether it is creating an impact. This largely depends on the company’s social media objectives because these dramatically differ based on the organization, it’s impossible to agree upon standards. That doesn’t mean we can’t measure ROI at the company level, though.
First is to determine what we want to measure
Corporate reputation, conversations or customer relationships
These objectives are subjective and hence require a more qualitative measurement approach, For example, if the objective is measure ROI for conversations, we start by benchmarking ourselves with questions like:
– Are we currently part of conversations about our product/industry?
– How are we currently talked about versus our competitors?
Then to measure success, we ask whether we were able to:
– Build better relationships with our key audiences?
– Participate in conversations where we hadn’t previously had a voice?
– Move from a running monologue to a meaningful dialogue with customers?
This is an issue of so much intrigue that no one knows the right answer and hence there are many companies who help you answer your questions. Thus the credibility of the company and the person at the helm of affairs of the company matters.