Social Media ROI - What does it mean?

Derek Mehraban's picture
Instructor
7/5/2012
Ingenex, Social Media

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Even though advertising has changed, most marketing agencies are still clinging to old measures of success like Return on Investment. Vic Drabicky, a digital marketing and strategy consultant, argues that ROI needs to be updated to account for the new ways social networks drive sales.

The new model requires some more preparatory work as social media agencies need to test and decide how much to value other actions besides sales. A user signing up for an email listserv has some value, and the value varies from brand to brand and industry to industry. A FaceBook like is also worth some value. The social media agency then evaluates how many of those user responses are created for each dollar spent marketing a brand

.Social Media ROI

Only once each of these call to actions has been measured for value can the social media agency offer up its true worth and ROI. This update is necessary. Clients are increasingly savvy to the new marketing tools available, and yet they are also increasingly weary of ambiguous metrics of success. The name social media agency implies something different than marketing agency and the measures of success need to update as well.

How do you feel social media ROI should be measured? What does it mean to you when you like a brand on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter? What is the best way for a brand to connect/build loyalty with you in Social Media?

Comments & Feedback

Student

Here is a great video, True ROI of Social Media for Business, from Tracy Schmidt, Director of Social Media Training & Strategy, Crain Communications. Tracy explains the top 10 measurements for your businesses ROI from social media.

1.Brand Awareness

2.Public Relations

3.New Business Development

4. Customer Service

5. Reputation Management

6. Market Research

7. Employee Engagement

8. Company Recruiting

9. Search Engine Optimization

10. Direct Traffic Referral



Student

As Derek says, "only once each of these call to actions has been measured for value, can the social media agency offer up its true worth and ROI".  The problem is that I don't know that it's possible to find a consistent measurement of value-like Mr. Mehreban also points out, the actual value will vary, based on the particular brand, and also based on the industry.  In consideration of a return on investment, I don't think that actual sales, whether it be in increase or not, should be how success in a social media campaign should be measured.  While I do believe a social media campaign can contribute to to increased sales in general (and I should note I believe this is mostly true in the long-term, and not necessarily short-term),  I don't think it is the sole  reason responsible for swaying a consumer's decision before making a purchase.  I think the best way to measure a social media campaign's success should lie not in ROI; I feel it would be beneficial, in evaluating a brand's digital presence, to measure with a metric such as Klout.  This would help a company determine how influencial their brand is online, and help by illustrating how they compare to their competion, as far as their social media reach.

When I like a brand on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, to me this means that this brand is significant enough to my life that I care to know the news about the particular brand or industry, and want to be notified of anything news-worthy related to them.  It identifies me as a potential customer, i.e. a target, and for me personally, means that I've purchased the brand before and was satisfied with it.  This makes me more likely to purchase this same brand again, and more likely than not to either already be loyal to the brand, or at least a very promising brand-loyal prospect.

I believe the best way for a brand to connect and build loyalty with me through social media is very similar to some of the reading we've done that talks about what makes a successful blog.  The content should be entertaining, informative, educational, inspiring, updated frequently, and provide me with some sort of value (not necessarily financial), among other things.

 

Student

Like a few other students already pointed out, I think it is important to look at a few other factors of companies trying to determine Social Media ROI.  Local companies vs. national companies are going to have different goals.  Looking at it from that perspective, a million likes for one company and one hundred likes for another could be seen as equal success. 

I personally like things to be kept interesting and unique.  The same posts, pictures, etc. on a company Facebook page is boring and could potentially lead me to dislike a company if they are too overbearing with the same information.  Keeping things fresh will not only increase the chance that I will frequent their site more often, it will also increase the chances of me passing along the link to my friends and family.  Again, I think it is important to stress the individual company factors when trying to pin point ROI because it is impossible to create a universal scale.  That's the good and bad thing about social media--it creates a world where we can all communicate--all of our differences and similarities.  That makes dcommunicating wonderful, but specific business scales hard to follow.

Student

Measuring ROI needs to be a very flexible process, in my opinion. For company's to truly see the success of their Social Media actions, I think they should approach each outlet with a different perspective and measure. Likes on a Facebook Page can be extremely different from follows on a twitter, because these sites also differ in their structures. When I like a brand, It's a very loyal action of me, but facebook is very cluttered. I'm welcoming them to be a part of that clutter, and noting that I'd like to see their information every once in a while. Twitter however allows for a more simplistic view, and so when I follow a brand, I'm doing it to stay updated on any useful information that they can add to my feed. Each of these outlets should be approached differently to build the brand. I think Facebook should be utilized as the personality/communication aspect, commenting with customers and etc. While twitter should operate to broadcast more and more useful information and really give the people what they want/ no fluff.

Student

I feel like the best way to calculate social media ROI and determine just how valuable the platforms are would be to test it.  Looking at likes and comments is beneficial. It could be beneficial to create a unique link from social media to a landing page and test the CTR of the link. Then, one would be able to see just how engaged the brand's followers really are.

Student

I feel ROI should be measured when someone signs up for something or even click the like or share button on the internet for social media. This is probably one o the only ways to measure ROI on social media websites. The best way to brand on social websites is buy constantly updating your facebook or twitter status about the product that you are advertising about that way it can be seen when someone likes your site. These are some of the only ways to brand your product on social media websites.

Student

I think using facebook and twitter to help measure ROI is  the best idea. Since basically everyone is on fascebook its a good way to track who likes and follows the brand better than email would. Most people don't check their email as much as their facebook or twitter. When I like a brand on facebook I get updates on sales and promotions. What I like the most is when I get coupons from the facebook page that no one else gets in the mail or through email. It makes me feel like the brand actaully pays attention to their customers. I think if companies send out special deals or coupons to their friends on facebook they will build a big loyalty with them.

Student

When i like a brand on Facebook or Twitter, it is because I really like the brand. Im rather boring when it comes to my facebook so I dont like a lot of mess from friends, companies, etc so I have to really like the brand. Same with twitter, If i really like the brand i will follow so I can sale updates mostly. I like interaction with brand and social media. One store replies to a lot of questions on twitter and will feature you on the twitter when you're in their clothes and their followers love that.

Student

I think it is important to measure ROI, so that time and money is not wasted on a campaign that isn't working, but their needs to be an updated method of doing that for social media sites. When I like a brand on Facebook or follow one on Twitter it is usually because I am already loyal to that brand and want updates from them.  Though me liking a brand doesn't necessarily mean I am purchasing it all the time I believe it is still good for the brand. Because when I like a page it will be suggested to other people who are my friends, so in the end it will help raise awareness of the brand which will in turn, hopefully, translate into sales. Thats the reason it's important for brands to develop a following on Social Media.  I think the best way for a brand to connect and build a loyal following is by making sure they are projecting a personable persona through their social media platforms. People go onto social media sites to connect with people not corporations or businesses. 

Student

I feel like it is very hard to measure social media ROI because they could only be looking at something but never actually taking action and when I like something on facebook I feel like it is completely different then when I agree to follow someone on Twitter because now I am saying that I want to know more about what they are doing and I want to stay informed, so Twitter is a great way to keep customers involved and happy. Besides using Twitter I fill like giving your customers some type of incentive every couple of months will keep them relevant in the consumers eyes and finding a way to get positive word of mouth conversations started will also bring in more ROI for companies. 

Student

I definately agree that the calculation of ROI needs to be adapted to the fast changing world of social media. Even before the widespread growth and use of social media, ROI was faulted for failing to measue aspects of campaign success that don't directly quantify themselves in sales figures. I feeel that in the socai media age ROI must be computed based upon the advertisers goals, that way you can quantify figures such as "likes" or page follows based on a value that they set. These measurmenets include things like brand loyalty and positive associations assiociated with when a user decides to embrace your online content.

Student

Social media is an opportunity to engage with your audience- so if all you're wanting is exposure, likes and followers may be sufficient.  But if you're really looking to utilize social media, then you'll want to look more at comments, responses, retweets and the like.  If a brand or company uses social media to make themselves approachable, then I'll feel comfortable engaging in a dialogue, and then it would be nice to be rewarded for that loyalty (coupons, deals, sneak peeks, etc.).  Perhaps a brand could issue a challenge to its followers to spread the word, etc. Personally, I tend to only like or follow brands that I've gotten to know and love, or am intrigued by and want to learn more.  The expectation is that I will- which means they have to continue to engage me and provide opportunities for me to learn about, like, and spread the word about that brand which is definitely a return on their investment. 

Student

I don't know that social media can be measured in direct comparison with old school advertising. While there is "value" in Facebook likes and Twitter followers and so on, does this really mean anything if it's not being translated into purchases? Yes, it does. Of course it does. The more people liking and supporting something, or getting updates on a topic, the more loyal they become as a consumer. However, how can this be measured? Many may argue that if something cannot be measured than it does not exist. While I think that's a little naive, I also do not have a concrete answer for how this can be done effectively. On a case by case basis, one companies likes can be compared to another, or followers to another etc. Companies sites can be monitored to see how many clicks or subscriptions translate into sales, but other than these specific examples there are limited ways to measure the overall "value" in total when compared to the old fashioned printed advertisements.

Student

When I like a brand or page on Facebook, it is either to get updates from them because I want the lastest info, or so I can win a contest. I will frequently unlike pages because I rarely use my own Facebook or they are irritating with their updates. That could be a biased opinion though becuase I only get annoyed with the brands that I wasn't really 100% interested in. To build loyalty from me, brands must keep me up to date with relevant information, entertain me with FUN things, offer me incentives to keep following them and not overwhelm me with stuff that doesn't apply or make me shake my head at them. I honestly don't know how ROI should be measured, I think it's definitely a case-by-case basis, depending on what your goals are.

Student

It's important to measure ROI. How to go about it now is another story. Social media is changing every day; it's a very dynamic platform and the rules change all of the time. I am sure the standard for measuring ROI within social media will become more concrete later but as for now I'd say "likes" and "follows on Facebook and Twitter is really important to a company. Increasing this is for companies is a fairly straightforward process, however. If a company is updating on a regular, timely basis, short of spamming and overloading News Streams/Tweet Feeds, it will help users consider the page a useful and reliable way to communicate with the company. Maintenance is essential. So updating with pictures, external links, questions asking followers/fans to comment and discuss on, or just sale announcements are all the best way to gain traffic and increase your ROI. It's obvious that the more people who follow and like your page, the more brand awareness you will have, and the more relevant your brand is to consumers, the more they'll think of your company when they have a need to be fulfilled. 

Student

I feel it is very hard to measure ROI from social media. To some extent it should be measured by how many likes and followers that you have, but to some extent. I feel really the only way you can ROI from social media is from your followers and likes. I believe the best way to build loyalty for your brand is to offer coupons and promotions. Now-a-days people are looking for a bone, throw them a bone with a coupon.

Student

ROI in social media is to me as simple as measuring your following. The more people that "follow" or "like" you, the greater your exposure. When celebrities show their loyalty online towards  your brand, its as good as a paid endorsement. When I like a brand its because I trust it and want others to know that I trust it. I like it when brands take  the time to reply back to you if you post something mentioning them or post on their wall. Companies really are turning into people.

Student

I think it's very difficult to measure ROI from social media. Sometimes what we get is loyal fans of the brand, that doesn't necessarily increase immediate sales. From my standpoint, I think this also needs to be measured. People believing in the brand, even if they aren't current users or consumers (especially in the case of valuable producsts such as cars,) they can still be brand embassadors and they can become consumers one day. 

Student
For one thing return on investment may not seem very plausible to most when referring to social media. It Seems like activity almost fits best. The measurement is just that. The company worries about it sales, but they want to build their brand, and their customer base. They are looking for loyalty and returning ccustomers. As for social media sites like FaceBook's like system and the share button that many sites use, they are just getting information about how often people consider it interesting or relevant. I personally think that social media ROI is very hard to measure and determine how much value there is in each action.
Student

I believe social media ROI is important to measure. ROI in traditional advertising is essential in determining a business' success in the market. With the exponential growth of social media, measuing ROI in that medium is to see how much awareness a brand has. Afterall, advertising was primarily about selling a product, but to sell a product one must have awareness out there for people to recognize and buy. Measures in Facebook 'likes' and Twitter 'followers' is important because a brand needs to expand and update customers on new events that are going on for the company. 

Student

In social media ROI is high since all the viewers can easily access through internet. It is so easy to spread out through friends on internet. For example when I like a certain brand I see on Facebook I instantly mark like on that brand. The Return On Investment in social media is causing more profitable than the general television ads since it can cost less money and can interact with various type of people without any resistance in the web.

Student

I feel that ROI should definitely include factors such as likes on Facebook, followers/retweets on Twitter, etc. Social media is now a huge part of advertising and marketing, and as such should be including when calculating ROI. For me, it's a big deal when I like a company on Facebook, because I rarely do it. It means that I have an invested interest in a company and their product or service, and that I'm willing to spend money on what they have to offer. It also means that I want to stay up to date on what that company is up to. I feel that the best way for a brand to connect with me is to not only offer a great product, but to keep there page interesting and relevant to their most loyal customers. If they're witty, post solid updates, offer deals, etc, I'm going to like them.

Student

ROI is a hard thing to expect when its coming from social media because it doesn't offer much other than getting the name out there and promoting. most of the time the things that a company promotes is useless to the adverage consumer in my personal opinion and people tend to gaze right over the post. Most people already have hundreds to thousands of friends that they want to look at and see what they are doing so to expect a solid ROI the company needs to offer more to the consumer like funny videos or sepcial online offers, things that the consumer can be a part of.

Student

Return on investment is a big thing for most companies. Companies put a lot of money into advertising therefore seeing their return on what they put in is very important. I feel ROI for social media should be measured by how many signups they have to a new site or whatever their main goal is for that current social media site. When I like a brand on Facebook for me it means I want to see what is happening with that brand their current updates and deals that they are running at that time and most importantly what new products are coming out. The best way to brand loyalty on social media is to keep constantly updating the product. Overall ROI is a big thing for most companies they want a task done and that is how they measure how much money they are putting out.

Student

It's hard to measure ROI in social media, because a lot of people simply friend or like a brand just because they have nothing else to do or they want to be one of the millions that like something.  trying to sort through the millions of people who follow/like a product to determine the true ROI of the brand is hard and there is no exact way of knowing what value the likes or follows have.  Even retweets don't have that much value at times if people retweet hundreds of thing a day just because they can.

A possible way of measuring ROI is peoples engagement with the content that brands put out. For example how many people share a picture put on facebook by Coke, how many people comment on a survery created by coke, how many click on the link posted by Coke, how many engage in the status game Coke made, etc. and measure Users social engagement with the brands with acutally purchases of the brand. So if during one quarter you got X amount of user engagement divided by Y amount of actual Dollars recieved in revenue you get a Z ROI and if its higher than last quarter you are doing things right.  This could be a possible way to measure ROI combing social media with actual dollars. 

 

 

Student

Just when we thought we had a grip on Old Marketing ROI we are thrust into a whole new arena. I'm a product of the Old Marketing Era so as we measure it is easy to follow phone book sales, print, flyers, radio, tv etc. Now the reaches of exposure is so vast I don't see a sure fire way of evaluating and following without a Bill Gates type software tracking/organizational system. Being new and just beginning to understand how it all works there may be some tracking software already out there.

I think with the social media field there should be some way to time stamp and follow exposure. Following bloggers and seeing how they write about your product is a great way to see if programs are working and where the impact may be.

The best way I see a brand to connect/build loyalty is to fill a need. As we've discovered we don't care about how great a product is we just want to know how it fulfills our need. If they can't do that I don't see much of a connection occuring. This can be as simple as giving free information or linking us to great content!

 

Student

I think it is hard to measure ROI especially with social media. On twitter and facebook people are looking at things from a recreational perspective so I think it is hard to try to build your brand soley there. I think the best way to connect and build brand loyalty with people through social media is to keep them informed have incentives every now and then for being a loyal consumer. I think the window of communication is most important because making a consumer feel involved can go a long eay with loyalty.

Student

I think that it really depends on what kind of brand you are looking at. For a national brand that most people are familiar with, a facebook "like" is probably worth less than a "like" for a local business. Some people may follow brands for the image of following them, rather than because they actually intend to buy something. I think that it also depends on the type of brand. Social media ROI could be measured completely differently for a brick and mortar store than for a store online. 

I thing that the best way for a brand to build loyalty through social media is by offering interesting information, a special deal, and by not constantly bombarding people. If a brand is offering me something useful, even if it doesn't directly make them money, I will be likely to come back.

Student

It is difficult to measure ROI to begin with - but social media really throws a wrench in the measuring gears. I think it is difficult to say that measuring via likes or followers on Facebook and Twitter respectively is a means to measure ROI or correlate with purchases. Social media uses varies among individuals - for instance, I specifically do not "like" brands that I am loyal to - why? Because I am tired of my email box and my Facebook notifications exploding with things that I am not entirely concerned about. If I am interested in a coupon - I will seek it out. However, I think the best way to possibly measure ROI with aspects of social media is to perhaps correlate the number of likes/followers/ mayors (Foursquare) with actual purchases. I don't know how feasible this is with different privacy settings etc, but a possiblity. 

Student

I think that it is in very difficult to measure ROI with social media because while a "like" could be equated with asking for more information in the past, it is hard to determine whether that like will correlate with future purchases etc. While individuals who sign up on websites make it easier for the organization to follow whether or not their signing up resulted in a purchase, this is not possible on Facebook or Twitter through likes and follows alone. As of now, the only way to measure ROI would be through likes, shares, and follows because it is the only way users are publicly displaying their approval or loyalty of and to organizations etc.

When I like a brand or follow them on Twitter it is because I am interested in new product information and what they are up to. I appreciate being kept "in the loop" or at least feeling like I am being kept in the loop. Brands rewarding followers through exclusive deals or discounts is a great way to connect and build loyalty with me so long as the means to accessing these deals is free through simply liking or following them. Using social media as a way to release product info or future organizational plans makes me feel like they care about keeping me in the loop and plan to offer products and services that reflect the wants and needs of their customer.

Student

After reading through how the formula for ROI is adapting, it is clear that demonstrating an honest reflection of ROI is a very difficult task. Even in it's current form, I think there are a lot of aspects that are not accounted for and would be very difficult to account for. These intangible aspects come in the form of the many different reasons that individuals engage in relationships with brands on social media. Are people interested in learning more about a company and giving feedback or are these people just hoping to find out about special deals? Furthermore, does a "like" or a follow automatically equate to exposure or will some messages be missed or ignored? I think we are on the right path to developing a formula with a more accurate ROI reflection, and Drabicky's work is a fantastic step in that process. However, I still believe that there are areas that need to be more accurately measured before we can truly judge what these relationships are worth, In time, this measure will come, but currently there is still work to do.

Student

I feel social media ROI should be measured by the amount of shares a piece of content has, which is pretty much what is happening now.  I think when you see something and like it, it isn't the same as taking the extra effort to share it and tell people about it and why they need to check it out too.  When I like a brand on Facebook, it's because I want people to see what I like, because if they like it, too, then we can share some common interests personally or have something to talk about if we didn't beforehand.  I think the best way for a brand to connect/build loyalty with me in social media is to engage me.  If I am tweeting at them and they don't tweet back, yes I am still interested in the brand, but if they message or contact me back, they show the world they care about their clients/customers and want to hold onto them rather than letting them soak up all the glory and do nothing to engage the people who make them popular enough to get their bills paid.

Student

It is hard to quantify the ROI of social media because of how people use it.  Social media is not like any other advertising medium out there.  People can use it in any variety or ways.  Some just use it connect with close friends and family, while others use it to drive business or gain awareness for a cause.  I do not even know if ROI is the proper term tomuse for this because most social media sites are free to join and update.  The best figures people ca hope for a things like click throughs and ad impressions.

Instructor

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to social media ROI. It all depends on what you're working on.

If you're working on a cause or campaign where there isn't an actual product to be sold, a Facebook like or share, or email list subscription might be more valuable than a brand that's focusing on selling widgets. Sometimes, spreading the word is what's most important - and that should be factored in to ROI.

Yet, if you're selling a high-end product and can build a long-lasting relationship with a potential customer online that can translate into sales and revenue - and have a way of determining metrics like customer lifetime value - you might evaluate social media ROI differently.

My point is just that there's no universal approach to this critically important question - but it's vital to at think about it and be able to prove some return on your client's social media investment (beyond just "having a Facebook page"). 

Student

Social media return on investment should be measured carefully and use methods tailored specifically to the social media outlet being analyzed. In other words, facebook and twitter may yield very different results and thus different methods of measurement should be used. I think that social media ROI should be measured using various indicators, not just sales. In order to really understand where your benefits are coming from you have to examine different data pieces such as the number of page hits, subscribers, likes, and followers. The best way for a brand to connect and build loyalty with its target audience is to inform them. Use clever ways to engage your audience with your brand. Keep them up to date with current events, they will want to know more about the company, so let them have it.  

Student

Right on! Social media influence of a company should most definitely be taken into account when evaluating ROI. I think especially when a celebrity is repping your brand or talking about your brand, that should mean more ROI than the average person. However those average people who "like" and "follow" and "re-tweet" things also have value. Without those average consumers, the company would probably amount to very little. 

Student

Social media ROI should be meausred with the different social media sites like facebook twitter instagram or whatever the case may being. Seeing as how social networking sites are very popular today people liking brands of facebook or following them on twitter is getting the word out one way or another! Me personally if I like a brand on face I usually use the brand and I actullay liked it while using it. If im following a specific brand on twitter I want updates about the brands sort of like exclusive things. These methods would reach me faster than me actually checking my email and maybe seeing something days later when I know im always ussing twitter so I would possiably see it sooner. Communiucating with consumers I feel is the best way to keep up and build loyalty seeing that we are the ones using/purchasing the products.

Student

I think social media ROI should be measured by likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, etc. That is the easiest way to see how many people are currently following the brand. That said, just because people follow brands on Facebook and Twitter doesn't mean they will consistently purchase from that brand. A common theme I read in previous comments is the number of Twitter mentions and retweets, along with Facebook comments and shares is a good way to measure how the brand is really doing. I definitely agree with that  thought because I feel like people who are more loyal to brand are more likely to communicate with the brand on social media.

Student

Some of the brands I’m passionate about include Under Armour, Apple, Starbucks, Swiss Army, Columbia, and Merrell. I use these products nearly every day, and I value their high quality.

In order for me to “like” a brand on Facebook, I have to be genuinely enthusiastic about it. I know a company excites me when I eagerly recommend it to others. (“Dude, you need to get some of these t-shirts! They’re so light and comfortable – especially in this hot weather!”)

I feel the best way for a brand to build loyalty is by communicating frequently both on its website and through social media.

I obviously want to know about the latest Under Armour apparel. But, I also want to learn about other aspects of the company, such as its leadership team, its research and development process, and any strategic partnerships it has in place. 

Also, I feel it’s important for successful brands to give back to the community. I’ve worked for a few non-profits, and contributions from the private sector were needed to achieve our goals and objects. So, it would build my affinity toward Under Armour if I knew it was engaged in charitable giving and such. Again, I’d like to see that news posted to its website and broadcast through social media. 

 

Student

The world of online advertising has come a long way since ROI, especially with the recent emergence of social media. With websites like Facebook and Twitter being created, people are being informed of new products daily through fan pages, twitter handles, etc. I think that the best way for social media ROI to be measured really is liking a page on Facebook, or following a page on Twitter. Like Jacqueline says below, just because someone “likes” something on Facebook, or follows a company on Twitter, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to purchase a product. However, that is not the intention of these pages. These pages are created to elicit interest in social media users to that they are intrigued by the company’s product, and eventually may buy something of theirs in the future. Gaining followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook gives a company a general idea of how many people are interested, and gives them an idea of who to reach to. Mentions, retweets, favorites and likes are all signs of how your brand is moving along. 

Student
As a consumer of some of the facebook pages that I follow, the only thing that I care about is updates on the product or service. The only thing that any social media site should worry or focus on is their content. Of course the presentation of the content must be organized and look good, but the content itself is the main catch. Like we have learned in our New Rules of Marketing and PR book content leads to action. Every brands main goal is to sell their product. That is why content is so important. If I'm informed on a new shoe or clothes or whatever I am interested in then there is good chance I will look into it and possibly buy it as well. Without good content nothing else matters. Reliable and valuable content is the best way for a brand to connect and build loyalty with fans like me in Social Media.
Student

The best way for a company to connect and build loyalty using Social Media is to actually interact with the people that "Like" or follow them. What's the point of making the page if you're not going to talk to the people that visit? If there's no interaction, it doesn't seem like the company really cares, like they just did it because every other company did it. The companies that stand out are the ones that use Twitter to actually @reply to their followers, or retweet their followers, based on comments, questions and concerns. The point is to not just give out free stuff on these social media sites. The point is to make yourself available to the people that keep your company going: the customers. If they're not going to put in the effort, then they should just stay off social media. It's called "Social Media" for a reason, there's got to be some kind of social aspect, which means talking. Talk to me, and it'll make me more brand loyal to you than I would to a company that doens't talk to anyone.

Student

Social Media ROI can be hard to measure, but it is clear that traditional ways of measuring ROI don't apply as well to social media. If I like a brand on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to buy their product. I may just want to find out more about the brand. However, I do think Facebook likes and Twitter followers are important; I just don't think they are a surefire way to measure the success of your brand. Mentions on Twitter, favorited Tweets, Facebook comments, and other social media aspects can be a guideline as to how your brand is doing, but shouldn't be taken as the only indicator of success. Also, I think it's important for there to be two-way communication on social media sites. When brands acknowledge your feedback or respond to your questions on their social media sites, they may gain more followers or get more likes because of it.

Student

I feel social media ROI can be measured through traffic and activity. When I follow a brand on twitter, its because I'm interested in the brand, like what they do, and want to keep updated. I rarely like anything on facebook, so same goes for those brands but I have to really like them. I think when a brand uses social media the best way to connect is to talk to followers as if they were friends and show that you also care. Social media has made it easy to follow anyone and anything, but making your customers into followers and making them feel like you care is the most effective. Post statuses and tweets that ask what they think and then respond to their responses, have real conversations. When a brand does that it makes it more than just a faceless company, and people really like that.

Student

There are so many different ways to measure the success of a business. When brands make their way towards becoming a part of social media, organizations can get user attention and build brand value with number of followers or fans. However, having a ton of fans and followers doesn’t necessarily mean that you are experiencing social media marketing success, but it does mean that you are on people’s radar. Ultimately, I think the best way to measure marketing efforts is to form a relationship with your audience and convert them into loyal customers. In terms of Social Media ROI, it is important to increase customer loyalty, acquisition, and retention, which eventually translates into sales figures. The goal is to get customers to get to know your company and guide them in the right direction –make a sale.

I think one of the best ways businesses can find success is through word of mouth. Friends have a huge influence on the products and services we choose because they often have a personal experience to go off of. This word of mouth form of marketing has become apparent online, via social networking sites and when people “like”, “@mention” and comment on pages. There is definitely value that comes from liking brands on Facebook or having a lot of followers. It proves that people are interested in the product/service and that they have a large fanbase making it much more appealing. As long as companies are posting relevant content to keep people hungry for more, they can increase their customer base and build lasting relationships with loyal customers.

Student

I think an ROI should be measured by how many "followers" the specific site gets. Not only twitter, but how many likes you have on your facebook, etc. When you like a brand, and follow them on twitter, it means you are interested in that company, and want to know everything about them. You want to recieve updates, and promotions. You want their latest news at the tip of your finger. I think the best way to connect to a brand is by following them on twitter. It allows for easy access, and great communications. With hashtags, retweets, and favorites, i think its the most successful way to go. 

Student

Social media ROI can be measured in many different ways, Whether a product on social media is shared, liked or commented on the company can record the amount of consumers that are showing interest in the product. Twitter I would say would be a more effective way to measure the amount of specific consumers by the number of followers upon the product. Retweets and hashtags can also be a great way to measure the interest of a brand. The 'like' feature on Facebook is a good way to measure interest of a product in a specific product of a company because normally certain pictures are shown of new products. Overall, Twitter is the best social media form to record ROI because of the many different features to record interest of the product or brand.

Student

Social Media ROI should be measured according to what each company is selling.  Different advertisements get different returns depending on how it is advertised and where people see the ad.  For instance, I do not like pop up advertisements because they are annoying and I do not even spend my time looking at them.  The only way I like a brand on Facebook or follow a company on Twitter is if I am really interested in what they are selling or what the brand is all about.  This means that I am already a loyal customer to the brand or I just bought a product that I really love.  I think the best way for a brand to connect/build loyalty with me in social media is to get me interested in their product.  As long as they do not overuse pop up advertising it should not be that hard to get me interested in their brand.

Student

I think that social media ROI has a different meaning for different services and forms of media. I don’t think that advertisements interrupting my online searches are effective. I never click on ads that pop up because I sometimes think that they are spam. Social media sites has taken more of sales and advertising approach and less of a relaxing site to check out new information. I think liking things on facebook and following new accounts on Twitter account for the calculation of ROI on different campaigns. By following or “liking” something on those two sites, it shows that the person is genuinely interested in the brand or site. By giving incentives or offering rewards for following an ad campaign offers the consumer to want to look more closely at the brand and builds loyalty with certain brands.

Student

If social media agency launched a social media campaign, the number of people participating in the campaign also can be counted as a way to measure social media ROI. 

The "Like" button always imply people's preference to one brand. At least, a kind of willingness to know more about the brand. I liked several brands on Facebook. If it is food brand, I hope it could inform me of more ways to eat the food, some maybe more creative ones. If it is cosmetic or skin care products, I hope it could provide more information about my concerns, for example, the ingredients of the product. Also, I would like to see the organization's care for the society, which includes whether the raw material of products are environmentally friendly, the support for some non-profit organizaitons, etc. 

In sum, usually I would like to know more about the brand, the story behind that brand.