Thursday, 10 November 2011 09:39

Social Media ROI Action Plan - Measuring Return

We've talked about social media ROI and the importance of ROI before, and our readers have been asking for an action plan. So, here you go!

Since the metrics always depend on the nature of the business and the goals and strategy of the business's overall marketing efforts, we'll use an example of Noodles & Company's Facebook effort and we will assume their goal is to ultimately increase in-store traffic through increased brand equity achieved by increasing their interaction with consumers.

OK, so to begin with we need to have one thing in mind: Whether Noodles' Facebook campaign successfully increases their monthly interaction with consumers, and how is it contributing to the brand?

Take a look at Noodles & Company's Facebook page (below).

>Noodles and Company Facebook

Before you dive too deep into the wall conversations, let's look at the left navigation bars. How many of them are designed for interactive purposes? 8 out of 10 of the tabs are designed for conversation builders, and 3 of them (the ones that red arrows pointing to them) are already easily trackable, because they have outside links. If you don't know how to track outside links, go get Google Analytics (if you're not sure what to do contact FiG). It's an indispensable part of any web presence.

The blue arrow points to a customized link for every individual.  here you can see Noodles' activities that your friends participated in. What are the benefits?

  • Brand awareness: Nothing is more powerful than friends' word of mouth effect.

  • Brand loyalty: If you ask FiG what creates loyalty, we say customized experiences, like this with a consistent level of follow up that people can come to count on.

Now there are only 4 items left to be tracked and analyzed: the wall, videos, photos, and events.

Wall: A quick glance at the wall leaves me with the impression that Noodles & Company is frequently interacting with their consumers.

Let's compare this Thursday's posts with last Thursday's:

Date & Time Nov 3. by 2pm Oct 27. by 2pm % Increase Brand Effect
Total Posts 13 9 44% Awareness
Conversations (posts with more than 2 replies) 6 4 50% Awareness
Consumer Initiated 4 3 33% Loyalty
Product Related 2 1 100% Awareness
Most Likes 88 4 2,100% Loyalty
Most Shares 58 - - Loyalty-Awareness
Most Comments 63 2 3,050% Loyalty
% Of Total Posts That Are Conversations 46% 44% 4% Loyalty/Awareness
% Of All Activity That Was Consumer Initiated 31% 33% -8% Loyalty/Awareness

From this chart we can see that consumer loyalty plays a major part in Noodles' daily Facebook conversations. Based on the 2-day comparison (this is just an example, for a real project we strongly recommend you track the results from month to month), the overall brand effect from Facebook is very positive and growing fast.

Videos: To analyze the videos' effect on brand, you first need to make sure you are looking at the right page.

Follow the video link on the left, then click any video, then click "back to album" to get here.

From this page, we can tell that Noodles & Company has adjusted the goals and strategy behind their videos. A year ago, all the videos were "recipes" to teach people to cook noodles at home. Now the videos are used for new product introduction and partner appreciation. How are they doing? Let's track their record:

  • You can use the simple analysis above to track the engagements and make judgment calls to find out whether it's for brand loyalty or brand awareness.

  • Measurement can be done at the front-line stores. No matter if it's a product video or a partner video, it relates to a product in a store, at least for now. So the cashier can always ask "Where did you learn about our new product?"

Photos: What are their photos about? The answer is: almost everything is about the company, the products, and the community. They create albums for new stores/products, promotional fliers, community events, employee events, etc. The easiest way to track photos is to track the comments/likes/shares/tags by using the simple analysis chart.

After the three evaluations above, you might already notice the pattern that FiG is using:

  • The time

  • The content

  • The effect


So, now I'm confident that you can answer the following questions to evaluate Noodles' event page on Facebook:

  1. Are the events current?

  2. Are the events frequent?

  3. What kind of events are they?

  4. Who would be the audience?

  5. What are the events' effects?

  6. How do you measure it?

Measuring the return is not an easy skill to master overnight. The most difficult part about social media's return is that it is not always immediately associated with a dollar amount. However, don't get too caught up in that either as your goal might not directly be revenue generation, it could be to increase customer satisfaction for example. We'll discuss about the "I" part of ROI (investment) next week. In the meantime, start tracking your Facebook records. Don't be lazy and only rely on the "Insight".