As social media marketing spend grows exponentially, so does the demand for accountability. Is it really worth it? How does it compare with other media options?
With so much data available from Facebook, it is easy to confuse yourself or get carried away and over-complicate things. And sometimes you might feel that Facebook is making a great effort to make your actual performance less transparent by drowning you in data. At Zenbu we believe in simplicity and the basic notion that performance measurement needs to be practical and intuitive. Otherwise, it will never lead to positive change and improved performance. In an ideal world, you would be able to track every single interaction on Facebook directly to your company’s bottom line. But for many - especially for retail brand marketers without direct sales - this is simply not possible or practical.
100 likes = $100
If only it was that easy. The trickiest part of measuring ROI is the value part of the equation. Of course, in a perfect world, we would want to know exactly how much revenue we generate from every single post on Facebook. But many marketers cannot magically link every impression and interaction from social channels to their bottom line - and are often left with no meaningful way of quantifying their investment. “Vanity metrics” such as fans and likes are often meaningless and very difficult to translate into real value.
Vanity metrics” such as fans and likes are often meaningless and very difficult to translate into real value.
Equivalent Media Value
So go through all output from your social channel(s) and determine what is valuable to your business. I would recommend sticking to the media metrics that exist in equivalent non-social advertising media. I.e. impressions, video views and link clicks. You (or your media agency) probably have an idea of your average CPM, CPV and CPC. Social interactions (likes, shares etc), on the other hand, are very hard to put a value on as they are often a means to an end. E.g. a “share” will give you more impressions / clicks/video views as the reach of the content is amplified. The share action in itself, however, is not valuable.
Once you have determined WHAT brings the value (i.e. clicks) and HOW MUCH it is worth (e.g. CPC = $1), you can measure your value at post level or monthly level and across your social channels (or at least those that provide the data). This may seem very basic, but for many, it is an eye-opener to realise that campaigns or posts that have been resource-intensive, actually only provide very little Media Value. And also the other way around. It’s a very convincing way of explaining the value of social and validating that social media can be a powerful marketing tool and offer low-cost distribution of content.
Keep it Simple
At Zenbu we are big fans of keeping it simple. Too many businesses are obsessed with 30-page reports that never result in any actual change. Keeping track of the media value of your page - and measuring it against your spend to calculate a basic ROI - is a simple and powerful sense-check of your investment in networks such as Facebook to see if they are actually providing value. And to ensure that you are not wasting resources on the wrong content or the wrong social network for your marketing objectives.