Can you measure the roi of your social media marketing? Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

An article titled “Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing” written by (Hoffman & Fod or, Fall 2010) argues that it is imperative to measure the ROI of the social media marketing as the top management will not allow the money to be spent over these activities until they are quantifiable.

However, the returns from these investments cannot be traced in dollars only, but also through the consumers’ behavior.Social media interactions open a new world of relationships for the marketers with the consumers and these relationships are not advantageous for the marketers in the form of returns in the short run. However, a long term perspective will be required to gain advantage from these relationships.

The four important motivations that help to make the consumers adopt social media are consumption, creation, connection and control. Consumers join the social media campaign when they interact according to it, create it when make a comment on it and then through sharing with their friends and family, they are able to make connections and to provide their opinions about that campaign in order to gain control of it.

These motivations tend to give higher ROI if the investments made by the marketer leveraged the customers’ investment, which they make through online interaction with the company’s brands.Therefore, the social media context (environment) is by largely controlled by the consumers and not the marketers.

Social media campaigns should be made according to the objectives of the marketers. These objectives are brand awareness, engagement and word of mouth marketing by the consumers.They help to measure ROI of the social media campaign. In order to have more accurate ROI measurements, the marketers would attach the additional metrics such as probability of the future purchase of the primary metrics,which vary according to the type of the social media campaign used.

Managerial Applications

In order to further elaborate the article, it is imperative to discuss that the managers of the social media should devise the social media campaigns around some objectives, which would help to measure ROI as accurate as possible. Brand awareness can be measured by the marketing managers through various means such as observing the usage pattern of the social campaigns by the consumers or by observing the number of Twitter mentions, etc. Brand engagement can be measured by observing visits of the consumers to the campaign, how often the page is viewed by them and by identifying the time spent on the page of the campaign. Word of mouth can have positive or negative results for the company’s brand. They can be measured through the user generated content on websites. The rewards of these objectives can be in the long term through delayed purchases.

Among the strategic options for social media measurement, the optimum options for the media managers lie around the desires to move from fuzzy measurements to quantifiable measurements. There are four strategic options and among them “Iterate for success” is the one which is more desirable to achieve, because here the marketing managers know how to measure the results of the campaign and they also know that their campaigns are succeeding. From the remaining three strategic options available, every manager through his sincere efforts can move from that point to a desired level of Iterate for success either directly or through passing other strategic levels.

Despite the above discussions regarding how important it is to measure the social media campaigns in order to measure the ROI. The social media managers should give more importance to the effectiveness of the campaigns rather than implying importance on the measurement of ROI. For effective social media campaigns, the managers should understand that just like consumers, managers also enjoy great control over the campaigns through rules and framework for participation of brands in the social media.

Extension of the Work

This article has given measurement criteria for different types of social media campaigns in general however; it does not explain the measurement criteria for different social media platforms specifically. The most common social media platforms used as of today are Facebook, Twitter, Linked Inn, etc. There are various tools available on these platforms, which can help to measure the effectiveness of the social media campaigns on these platforms.

The article does not explain the effective way to manage these social campaigns.The question remains that will it be in-house social media campaign management department or personnel? Would it be effective or will outsourcing the campaigns’ management to third parties be effective? It is difficult to decide as the measurement of the social media campaigns is still debatable so how could be it make easy to calculate who is running the campaign successfully which is efficient and effective.................

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