This post is in reply to Priya Ramarkishnan (CMO AXIS) question on LinkedIn “What is the best way to find a Social Media Strategy and how does one find the ROI on Social Media.”
I thought it was a good segway in to how to use our Social Media ROI application analytically.
Normally you start with the strategy and then you estimate the ROI on the strategy. I would like to suggest a different approach in that you start with the ROI and then based on the ROI you select and execute on a social media strategy. What do I mean with that?
Like Robert suggests (see question to see what Robert Burns wrote), do your required upfront research. A solid understanding of your customer base is absolutely key to move forward into the next phase. You also need to figure out your goals; for instance is your goal to increase short-term sales, increase long-term brand awareness and purchase intent, support call savings, increase consumer insight, increase SEO, increase media mentions and word of mouth?
Next you need to decide if you want to optimize your social media strategy based on social media return or social media ROI. There is a difference here. You might be able to achive a higher return but it might cost you more thus lower the overall ROI. On the flip side, you might be able to raise your social media ROI by lowering the investment but the return might suffer. In our example, lets try to raise the social media ROI.
Now, based on your understanding of your customers, you need to create a few different social media strategy scenarios to estimate the best ROI. For instance, should you go all out with a Facebook-only approach, should you do a combination of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube? Should you do blogging and/or community forums? Should you post once a day or many times a day? Say your goal is to raise the number of useful consumer insights, you then want people to talk to each other a lot and therefore a community forum might be a good idea. If you are looking for short-term sales, then Facebook and Twitter posts with discount coupons might be another idea. Or a combination of approaches.
Using social media ROI applications, you can play different social media strategy scenarios until you find the strategy that seem to generate the biggest bang for the buck, eg highest social media ROI. As you select your social media strategy, you can create best, worst and anticipated case scenarios to see where you land.
As you execute on the social media strategy, you would periodically go back to your social media ROI application to plug in the correct numbers to see if you are tracking accordingly and based on the calculations, you can make mid-course changes.
So you see what we are doing; instead of starting with a strategy and then checking the ROI,
- we start with a few different social media strategies,
- then we compare each strategy based on our goal of higher social media return and/or higher social media ROI.
- Then we select our social media strategy knowing that we used analytics to select a strategy based on our or our client’s bottom line.
If you are interested in seeing a demo, please contact us directly. Also please download our free light Social Media ROI application.