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Five tools for measuring social media ROI

Quantifying the Return on Investment (ROI) of a company’s social media campaign has been every marketer’s bane with existing real world business performance metrics failing to provide the measurements driven by trends and behavioral patterns. Now, in his latest post on Web Strategist, Altimeter Group researcher Jeremiah Owyang prescribes The ROI Pyramid as a marketer’s solution for tracking success in 2011.

Essentially defining the metrics by which business interacts with relevant stakeholders in a precise and simple form, the chart will also hopefully shed light on the ever changing social media ROI paradigm. Owyang goes on to explain that while measuring social media is challenging, 65% of corporations are using engagement data as the top used metric, with only 22% using product revenue as a metric. Essentially what this means is that there is a shift in the overall corporate strategy with regards to business metrics: The pyramid is thus smaller at the top because of the limited number of metrics presented to busy top-level executives.

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Engagement data forming the base of the pyramid further highlights the dominance of social media metrics with data already provided by many online social tools and a variety of analytics. And while the data being presented may not immediately match the business expectations of executives, there is no denying the impact of social media within the overall ROI goal.

We’ve defined five popular tools for leveraging social media metrics:

  1. Viralheat: A social media analytics tool that is Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz enabled, Viral Heat also offers sentiment analysis to identify the mood of every mention. Its influencer analytics allows organisations to discover advocates and detractors who are shaping your conversation, digging deep to surface the strongest voices in the social web.

    The viral analytics that it provides monitors, mentions and shows which conversations are going viral. Furthemore, the software provides insights for your social media campaigns that allow you to deliver a higher ROI with competitive pricing offers – all neatly packaged and easily accessible via a metric-based user dashboard.

  2. Social Networking Media ROI Calculator: A free online tool from DragonSearch calculates all of a user’s social media efforts and its relation to expenditure on networking sites. While the tool is simple and doesn’t quite cover the broad scope of other ROI metrics tools, it does provide a fairly rough set of estimates into costs and benefits analyses which includes advertising and traffic values and PR values. DragonSearch, better known for its web traffic analyses and SEO services, has pulled a lot of resources into creating tools for social media ROI lately, with a strong focus on social media marketing.
  3. Argyle Social:  With a strong emphasis on conversions, Argyle Social – a SaaS social media marketing platform – follows an alternative route to the normal ‘click-centric’ metrics. The end result enables marketers to measure and optimise their efforts. The software allows users to decide which conversions they want to achieve through social media marketing, which could either be email signups, ebook downloads, event registrations or sales and tie those to their Twitter or Facebook campaigns and also track website traffic by embedding Argyle’s code within a users web pages.
  4. Tweetreach: Delivering highly detailed reports on a user’s Twitter activity, this tool also shows overall exposure, retweets, mentions, replies and impressions on the number of views on a topic related to a particular tweet. With the tagline ‘How far did your tweet travel?’, the interface is fairly straightforward: You search for a url, Twitter name, phrase or hashtag, andTweetreach analyses the tweets matching your search and generates reports for exporting the collected data.
  5. Google Feedburner: Often overlooked, Feedburner is not just a simple feed aggregation tool. It allows users to track subscribers, check views and clicks generated from sites and even track podcast downloads, while the easy interface allows for reports to be downloaded into a CSV file from where the normal spreadsheet manipulation would follow.

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