Welcome back to our second part on how to talk to your boss about social media! If you weren’t scared away after my last entry good for you, I’m often told I get way too interested in this kind of thing so it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
This entry will take a look at two of the more advanced methods I have used in the past to help tribes measure and place value on their social media activity. I’ll include the same disclaimer I did on the last blog: there are WAY more than the two methods I’ve listed below and I encourage you to work through and try things until you find something that works for you. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. It is only intended to start a conversation and help you think about all your possible options.
More Difficult or Abstract Methods of Measuring Social Media’s Value
Measuring hypothetical “market penetration” – while you can do this for organic post-performance I find it is far easier to focus this method on paid social media ads.
When you go to place an ad Facebook will give you the opportunity to select some targeting criteria. If you select the cities you wish to target it gives you a number of estimated reach/available impressions/something similar depending on the type of ad you choose to run. Make a note of that number and compare it to the performance you achieve at the end of your campaign. Then include the cost per action taken on that ad (like, post engagement, video view, etc.).
This gives you a very concrete report of how effectively you reached your target audience and allows you to begin to compare cost per result across a variety of other advertising platforms your property may be paying for. While it won’t help you project revenue it will help you make a case for cost efficiency and the ability to hyper-target your most likely existing/new customers. Keep in mind you can build out any number of hypothetical targeting scenarios to help chart your overall social media performance without ever actually running a paid ad. Try adjusting your campaign duration and your budget to see how it changes your overall campaign projections.
Ask About Assigned Values – this is usually more helpful when looking at larger datasets (more than a month) but can be adapted and used as often as it provides value for your organization.
I was once asked to present a performance report to a very rural property about how a multi-month campaign had performed. In looking at the numbers I compared the number of people who liked their pages in certain local markets to the performance of the campaign. I found that the campaign reached an average of 18% of those people, but reached as high as 79% of those people in certain markets. I then took the total volume of the campaign and compared it to the population of the county. I then ended the report with a simple question, “what is it worth to you that this campaign reached your local markets this effectively, and delivered a total volume that rivals the entire population of your county?” It is important to know this question is not intended to be confrontational.
At the end of the day, I wanted to make sure the client felt like they had gotten their money’s worth. While I certainly felt that way asking them to put a value on the performance of the campaign within the context of local markets they cared deeply about reaching helped me better understand where the campaign meets client expectations and where it might not have so we can adjust future efforts. By asking them to put a value on the performance it provided a critical benchmark we could use to discuss social media performance. The warning I will give you when using this method is that it is very common for people to not be able to answer the “what is it worth question”. In some cases, it is appropriate to frame it in the context of money spent/potential money earned on the gaming floor, other times it is easier to answer it in the context of whether or not the objective is important enough to your executive team to justify what you would like to do as a marketer. This way it removes the pressure of trying to calculate the monetary value of everything and focus everyone’s attention on “is it worth doing to reach the people in the market we want to target”. Referencing Facebook fans, the total population, and the number of players in the database in the market you are discussing can help answer these questions in greater detail.
If you’ve made it this far good for you, this is A LOT of information to get through! If you take away nothing else from this I hope you remember that there are a lot of different ways to measure the impact of your work. Dig into the data, talk to people in your organization, and work together until you have a way to measure things that works for your organization.
Feeling overwhelmed? Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to talk to you about ways we can help you track and report your digital marketing efforts.