I was asked by an acquaintance at a doterati meeting a few weeks ago how to prove value for a social media campaign that had already been completed and for which the usual tracking that I’d recommend wasn’t in place. It took a moment to devise a way to show the value that a social media campaign had created for a brand, but I ended up with these 7 steps. As a firm believer in “working smart” instead of “working hard”, have edited that email a bit and now present you with 7 Steps to Demonstrating the Value of Social Media:
- Look at all of the bit.ly links that were spread through social media. This will show how many hits each link has gotten, and even how many hits a day (which is probably more granular than you need).
- Total up all the hits on each of the pages individually that the social media campaigns have linked to.
- Then, go to Google’s Sktool (hey, I didn’t name it) and put the URL of each page that social media directed people to (like the organization’s homepage, for example). Google is going to do its best to guess what kind of advertising keywords that page should be associated with.
- Pick a few that are actually relevant (Google’s best guess is often laughably wrong).
- Normalize the price per click (as in sum up all of the prices that are associated with relevant keywords and then divide by the number of relevant keywords) to derive the (approximate) value of each click that page would have cost via PPC advertising.
- Multiply the normalized value by the number of clicks that social media brought to that page, and there you go! Now you know the value of the clicks that your social media campaign brought you on that page.
- Repeat for each page that got an appreciable number of clicks. If you have 40 pages that all got 3 clicks, just take the sktool pricing from your organization’s homepage and use it as a rough for all of the pages whose click rate was so low that it’s not worth figuring individually.
Bonus Tip: If you take screen caps of the Google Sktool pricing while you’re working, you can generate a nifty “cost benefit analysis” report with hard numbers that no one can argue with when you give a presentation and show just how much social media saved your organization.
This is just one way to demonstrate value of a social media campaign (and a rough one at that), but for someone who’s just getting started and wants to be able to show the higher-ups why they should invest some more time in social media, it makes a very compelling argument. Got any questions on this? Leave me a comment or email me and I’ll be happy to answer.