Calculating ROI for SMO:
You would notice that we have been speaking and writing about Social Media Optimisation, its importance in the present business scenario, how to go about it etc. But we have not addressed some of the most important questions that crop up in the minds of a marketer; how do I calculate the return on investment from a Social Media Optimisation campaign?
Before we do that though, let’s do a quick recap on what SMO is all about.
Below is a Wiki definition of SMO: Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for attracting visitors to website content by promoting and publicizing it through social media.
And Social Media is thereafter defined as:
Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.
Activities part of SMO:
- Social media features added to the content itself, including: RSS feeds, social news and sharing buttons, user rating and polling tools, and incorporating third-party community functionalities like images and videos.
- Promotional activities in social media aside from the content being promoted, including: blogging, commenting on other blogs, participating in discussion groups, and posting status updates on social networking profiles.
Ok, so now having that in perspective, let’s try understand some parameters to help assess the impact of SMO on your web presence. You would realize that making an SMO activity tangible is fairly straight forward, since we can define numbers for each activity e.g. the number of blog submissions, the number of group creations, the number of updates on groups, the number of discussions and comments, etc. But how do we calculate the results?
We have put some points together as below:
- Traffic on the site: There are several tools available that can help you understand the traffic coming to the site. Our personal preference goes to the Google Analytics tool that helps understand the source of traffic coming to your website. Take a look at the screen shot below. Here is an analysis of the above screen:
- Total Traffic on the site = 852 Visitors
- Total Traffic from referring sites (sites which bring users to our site) = 330 Visitors
- Total % of traffic from referring sites = 48% of total traffic
- Total traffic from SMO (Linkedin, Facebook) = 226 Visitors
- Total % of traffic from SMO = 26%
- Number of Unique Visitors: This would perhaps be one of the most important factors in defining the effectiveness of the campaign. The more the number of unique visitors on your site, the more effective is the campaign.Lets again take an example below:From the screen shot, you would see that 80% of the total visitors are absolute new visitors. It is quite safe to assume that this increase is because of the ongoing SMO activity that we perform as the period for analysis is the same.
- Number of Enquiries: Following a general progression, an increase in the number of visitors on a site would imply an inherent increase the number of people enquiring about products/services. Now these enquiries could be in several ways i.e. through contact form submissions, through phone calls, by email or even in walk in customers for showrooms and shops.Taking an example of our blog, we notice that every time we create a new discussion on various social networks, the number of visitors on it increase drastically, and then comes down to the regular number (See the screen shot below). Then we do a new post, and the number again increases, hence it is safe to assume if we the number of enquiries is directly proportional to the number of visitors on the site, which can be increased by SMO.
- Conversion or sales: Aha… so now we talk about it and I am sure every marketer would love this the most. Again, this is the natural progression of a user, however, you would need to also appreciate that the website plays the pivotal role in this. SMO can bring traffic to the site, it can increase the number of unique visitors, it might just be able to generate enquiries or leads, but if the website itself is not captivating enough, or does not provide sufficient information or has a functional error, the entire exercise goes waste.
So at the end of it all, we would just like to bring forth that a well planned SMO and a well created website can surely enhance your web presence and also boost your sales. Several large corporations use this today to not only increase sales but also take immediate feedback and increase interactivity with their intended target audience.
Also since all of the above mentioned parameters are directly proportional to the time spent on social networking, it is safe to assume that the more time you spend on productive networking, the more response you are likely to get.
-By Naved Aqueel