After you have defined goals for measuring social media ROI the next step is to establish a baseline, or internal audit, of where your organization stands now. You need to take an inventory of a variety of business variables (both financial and non financial) that you can use to determine social media’s impact on the bottom line $$$.
It is best to establish the baseline before implementing your social media strategy. However, if you are already engaging in social media it is still important to establish a baseline of where you stand right now so that you can best determine future successes and opportunities for improvement.
Although ROI doesn’t equal analytics, variables such as Twitter followers and web traffic are important to measure to see how they affect the bottom line $$$. For example it would be important to analyze how the number of Twitter followers affects web traffic and consequently how volume of web traffic leads to increased sales.
Here are some suggested variables to include in your baseline:
- Avg. monthly sales
- Avg. dollar amount per transaction
- Blog comments per month
- Cost to acquire a new customer
- Current YTD sales
- Customer conversion ratio
- Facebook friends
- Keywords ranked for on the first page
- LinkedIn connections
- Monthly new customers
- Monthly transactions
- Monthly unique visitors
- Number of links from social bookmarking sites
- Press mentions per month
- Previous yearly sales
- RSS subscribers
- Social mentions per month
- Twitter followers
- YouTube channel subscribers
I created a spreadsheet on Google Docs with the metrics above that you can download for free and modify for your business. If you think there should be additional variables that are measured in a baseline you can add them to the comments section below and I will add them to the spreadsheet.
After creating your baseline I recommend measuring these metrics on a monthly basis. In my next post I will discuss how creating an activity time line, in conjunction with your established baseline, will help you look for trends and demonstrate ROI.