For many, this case has been long closed. If you are a consumer facing organization without any footprint in social media, you’re losing money. The only question is how much. This question of quantifiability is what keeps many of the more conservative CEOs from committing to the social community.
Luckily, tracking the profitability of your social activity need not be left to nebulous number crunching, or the intern’s best inference. There are several simple tactics you can put in place that can help you link your profits to your profiles.
This recent article from Mashable, runs down 5 “dead simple” ways of tracking your brand’s ROI in the social sphere. Some of the methods should be familiar. Things like having unique phone numbers, and offers for ads on specific platforms can help track exactly where your conversions are coming from.
Other methods are more nuanced, and leverage the vast capabilities of Google Analytics. Search Engine Watch put together a great overview of how to dig into the nitty gritty of social metrics and performance. They help put Google’s tools in perspective, and show how to attribute social marketing efforts to your business’s bottom line. For example, by assigning a dollar amount to each tracked conversion, you can easily put social traffic in context with hard dollars and cents.
Outside of the bottomless well of data provided by you brand’s social activity, the real value is found in your ability to listen. Reducing your customers to a flat monetary abstraction isn’t the best approach to forging long term relationships. Social media gives you access to the hearts and minds of your most loyal customers. Take advantage of the transparency, use it to define the voice of your brand, and make a genuine connection.