Sponsored feature

How to make money talk in social media campaigns

As social media are increasingly being used to drive audiences to buy products and services, brands are able to evaluate their return on investment using five simple tests.

How can brands find a social media evaluation model that forecasts the monetary value of their campaign, plans e-commerce mechanics and evaluates return on investment?

To help achieve this objective, brands should first ask themselves these million-dollar questions: Can we evaluate social media? What was the ROI of this social media campaign? What is the ROI of a brand’s entire social media community – across all social channels? Did it sell any products? Did it answer the brief? Is it worth reinvesting in social media again?

Avoiding the answer

I am compelled to write about the subject because it is on everyone’s mind and yet is largely ignored – not just by digital experts, but by the whole industry since the emergence of social media.

The only people who have not ignored social ROI are the brand owners.

But brands are too often told that it is impossible to evaluate the value of a like, share, click or some other social call to action. This is because, according to most industry experts, the role of a social platform is to build engagement and advocacy, not sales.

There is a flaw in that logic and most brands with large communities are now realising it.

The answer

Yes, it is possible to accurately evaluate the monetary value of your social media.

Social media are increasingly used as a catalyst for amplifying e-commerce. From global brands to start-ups, the industry now uses social media not just to nurture conversations, but to drive audiences to buy a product, book a hotel, subscribe to a service etc.

We can measure those sales and attribute appropriate value to each social media call to action.

At Clarion, we have done extensive work on building a standard model based on learnings from the IAB UK and Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles. We have also garnered recommendations from our sister WPP companies Mindshare, MEC, Kantar and G2 Joshua.

The model to use

We begin with measuring five meaningful quantifiable variables. Each variable can then be attributed to monetary value based on its contribution to the increase in sales/revenue. This is all measurable because we can see which clicks come from which source, unlike traditional advertising where the source is less clear.

If there is no visible increase in revenue, then we can attribute an advertising equivalent monetary value to each of the five variables, which are:

  1. Awareness: an indication of how many people are reached with the brand message (measured in audience impressions and reach).
  2. Appreciation: a measure of how many people show an initial interest in brand content (measured in posts, shares, re-shares etc).
  3. Actions: speak louder as they indicate an active interest in the brand/product (measured in clicks, downloads, enquiries, purchases etc).
  4. Advocacy: signifies intent to keep in touch (measured in likes, followers, circles, subscriptions etc).
  5. Domino effect: reaching audiences through their network (measured in friends of friends, followers of followers, viral reach etc).

Measurable impact on revenue

The most exciting variable is arriving at the post-campaign profit (subtract the pre-campaign sales from the post-campaign sales and add the campaign cost). Adding this value to the total industry value of the above five variables gives us the monetary value for the campaign. If we have a traditional ad campaign running simultaneously to the social media campaign, then it is crucial to also measure the above variables and attribute monetary values respective to the measurable variables of each campaign.

The mathematical element of this type of measurement provides agencies and brands with clearer ROI for any social media campaign. It allows us to forecast campaign revenue and plan the integration of creative e-commerce mechanics that we know can boost revenue. More importantly, I feel it is this type of reasonable rationale that reflects the visible increases in revenue that give our clients the confidence to continue reinvesting in social media.

Views in brief

What is the best branded app you have seen recently?
AMEX.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary recently told our sister title Marketing that negative publicity (such as the oft-rumoured plan to charge passengers to use toilets) generates so much more online traffic to the airline’s site that it results in more sales than positive publicity. What’s your response?
You have to compare the strength of your positive and negative publicity. If your positive reviews are weaker than your negative reviews, of course you will be under the illusion that negative publicity is better for sales.


Habib Amir, head of digital; member of WPP Digital European Advisory Board

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

More from the Ideas Lab

Careers: Leadership - A route to the boardroom
Sponsored feature

Careers: Leadership - A route to the boardroom

Senior communicators now need the knowledge and ability to take on a more central corporate role.

Digital dilemmas: Social customer service
Sponsored feature

Digital dilemmas: Social customer service

In the first of a new series, our digital expert explains the best way to manage social customer service.

Asia is not a flight of fancy
Sponsored feature

Asia is not a flight of fancy

Asia presents exciting opportunities for clued-up comms professionals, says VMA Group's executive director/head of Asia-Pacific, Katrina Andrews.

Make an immediate impact
Sponsored feature

Make an immediate impact

Employers' use of interims to solve specific problems has created a career path that has shaken up the comms jobs market, says VMA Group CEO Julia Meighan.

Take responsibility for your own development
Sponsored feature

Take responsibility for your own development

The days are gone when you could sit back and wait to be trained. CIPR senior policy and PR officer Andy Ross advises you to get ahead by planning your own training.

Employing the right people is key for a hybrid agency
Sponsored feature

Employing the right people is key for a hybrid agency

Switching from PR to comms consultants is facilitated by recruiting widely read digital mavens from a range of backgrounds, who have an affinity with our organisational culture

You can have your cake and eat it - especially beside the seaside
Sponsored feature

You can have your cake and eat it - especially beside the seaside

Inspiring people to make healthy decisions, while spoiling themselves occasionally, is an ethos that helps attract staff.

Adapt to stay ahead of the game
Sponsored feature

Adapt to stay ahead of the game

Employers don't just want digital expertise, they need people who can show creativity and adaptability across all media, says VMA Group CEO Julia Meighan.

Your next job? Find somewhere that shares your values
Sponsored feature

Your next job? Find somewhere that shares your values

The recruitment process should be a genuine two-way conversation. Use it to explore what really matters to you, because that's what can turn a good job into one you love.

Perfecting mixology makes inVentiv a great workplace
Sponsored feature

Perfecting mixology makes inVentiv a great workplace

A good office is just like a classy cocktail with the right relationship between the ingredients; we have no walls and no titles - sheer ability is all that determines the challenges one faces.