Four Metrics for Measuring Social ROI

Social ROI: The Quest of Creating Business Value Through Social Data Takes a Step UpSocial media is all about interactions. Those interactions leave traces in the form of consumers’ data, often defined by marketers as “priceless” in terms of value. But is the quantity of data a strong enough KPI/metric to justify the time and resources companies dedicate to their social media efforts? As Mai described in her last blog post, the tremendous amounts of data can sometimes be overwhelming, causing brands to fail in their attempts to transform it into meaningful business insights. Moreover, even though brands’ growing participation in social media already has been a tendency for the last couple of years, a universal formula to translate the outcome of the time and resources invested into the language of a standard marketing monetization perspective has not yet been invented. The confusion on social ROI might remain the same unless social media professionals stop trying to evaluate their online efforts the same way they measure the success of their other marketing activities.

First and most importantly, a very significant notion for brands is that they must start viewing social media ROI metrics as a list of intangibles that have the potential to deliver way more value rather than simple “return on sales” type of tangible measurements. This means that instead of evaluating their social media efforts by analyzing quantities (numbers of “likes”, “fans”, “followers”,”pinners” etc.), brands should focus more on qualitative metrics which are open to adjustments and improvements over time. Following are four of those metrics for measuring social media ROI, which we see as of great importance.


1. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness relates to how a brand’s exposure throughout different social media platforms leads to a significant increase in the number of people recognizing the brand’s identity and attached attributes (logo, colors, slogan etc.). That metric is usually associated with standard quantitative measurements (number of “likes”, “followers” etc.), but a deeper analysis will provide marketers with more valuable business insights.

Using Google Analytics to track down the number of users who, referred by social media channels, visited the brand’s official website, will outline which channels are beneficial as traffic boosters that have the potential of leading to increased sales. Additionally, analyzing real-time social media sentiment, by using social media management systems to track down all mentions of the brand’s name, will provide insights on the brand’s reputation and how its name is being perceived. That is one of the greatest opportunities of social media – marketers can obtain “first hand” information if customers are talking about the brand in an either positive or negative way.


2. Reach & Engagement
An important metric to measure is the levels of reach and engagement. Marketers should define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) related to conversations, re-shares, recommendations and reviews etc. That metrics’ value lies in the possibility of real-time content analysis and its influence. Using a set of social media management systems, such as Falcon Social, to measure the levels of reach and engagement, brands can easily observe which content performs best and thereby adjust and improve their future strategies.

Moreover, analyzing conversation rates leads to a faster identification of potential influencers and brand ambassadors. Building a strong relationship between the brand and its most loyal customers cannot only lead to further expansion of awareness, due to peer-to-peer recommendations and positive reviews, inspired by influencers’ motivation to speak for and defend the brand. It can also open doors for crowdsourcing: the next metric in our list.


3. Crowdsourcing
Another very important metric of social media ROI is the percentage of cut costs from companies’ R&D (Research and Development) and Innovation activities due to crowdsourcing. A strong relationship built between the brand and its most loyal fans and followers via diverse social media channels assures that brands are no longer obliged to rely only on their R&D and Innovation teams for the creation and improvement of their products/services. Their most loyal social media followers will be happy to get involved in those processes basically for free, led by their true likelihood of the brand in general and psychological need to take part in creation processes. Furthermore, it’s not only the cut of costs; another important KPI is the amount of ideas on top of the pipeline: the more generators, the larger scope of suggestions.


4. Business intelligence
This metric refers to measuring the effectiveness of a brand’s own social media activities in comparison to that of its competitors. Marketers can monitor the performance (reach, engagement rates, sentiment etc.) of their rival companies with help from social media analytic platforms, such as SocialBakers. Additionally, that comparison and positioning allow brands to evaluate and adjust their future strategies in order to optimize their sales.


Social media ROI will undoubtedly always remain of great importance for all industry-related professionals. Despite the many discussions that measurement of ROI is a hard task, we believe that brands, who truly believe in the power of social media, can follow the above-mentioned key metric points as guidelines for initiating their strategic KPIs and thereby secure successful ROI from their activities.


photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc



Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.