Blogs and social media - measure ROI (return on investment)

Blogs and social media - measure ROI (return on investment)

26 Aug

In the early days of the web, everyone just wanted to set up their own email account.  Then it was a rush to build a company website.  Then it was Flash, effects, fancy, dynamic, dazzle.  Then came Google, keywords and SEO (search engine optimization).  Next was content management systems.  These days, it seems to be all about social media.

Each of these trends was important to the development of how we use the intenet and are still quite relevant today. However, there often is a point of mania where there is just a dash to "get it done yesterday" without understands how it fits in with the rest of your website and marketing.

Social media has a very specific requirement which is different from previous trends: it requires lots of time to maintain.  You can't just say "great, it's build, it's over with".  You have to feed it, nurture it, update it, interact with visitors who post comments, keep up with your followers... 

We're not talking about updating the box on the home page of your website every 6 months.  A blog should be updated at least twice a month, a twitter account of facebook page several times a week, ideally per day!  So the cost of setting up social media is fairly small compared to the investment required to make sure it stays relevant down the line.

And with any investment in your company, you should have a) a plan and b) a way of measuring if the effects of effort reflect what you planned.  Unfortunately, about half of companies do not have a social media strategy when they set up a blog/twitter/facebook, and even worse, 84% do not measure the return on investment!

You don't need a complicated plan.  But at least know which readers you're trying to reach, what you want to communicate to them, how want to affect them, and find out if you do have an impact.  And remember that since social media is based on relationships, the effects might not be instantaneous, so it must be measured through time (comparing measurements to previous ones).

The best way to measure is to see how many people are reading (statistics) and their quality (who is reading).  Another easy way is just to ask your target follower: "So, what do you think of my new blog/twitter/facebook?"

So have fun with social media out there, but don't forget that you have to invest time to make it work!

Here are a few references related to ROI in social media :

PS, here are our social media links:

Tags : blog, cost, flash, google, investment

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