Fast and slow fires
In a traditional marketing campaign like advertising, email campaign or direct mailing you measure the ROI (Return On Investment) from the beginning to the end of the campaign. As soon as the campaign is over the effect is gone or almost gone as there is little or no influence afterwards.
A social media marketing campaign however is long lasting: you know when you start it, but you never know how long it will last. For example we still have a few blog posts driving high traffic from 3 years ago. So measuring the ROI becomes more complicated as the result and return can build up slowly over a long time span. Some social media efforts didn’t have much effect in the beginning but were long lasting. Others were an instant hit but their influence evaporated rather soon.
So having fast and slow fires in social media marketing.
So in order to measure the ROI of a social media marketing campaign or effort you need time and patience.
Measuring a traditional marketing campaign has the advantage that the initial investment can be measured easily – for example:
- The press release writing and distribution
- The creation of the ad and the ad space bought
In social media however the social is a part of the investment that has likely has happened before the start of the new campaign. The company or product has already:
- Links into other social media
- Subscribers to the blog
- Generic Internet presence
Hence calculating the initial investment already becomes difficult as you build upon an existing network or support structure, which is hard to calculate in.
The actual effort of the campaigning can be rather small: just a blog post or even a few Tweets that get the necessary attention can be enough.
The part of the initial investment that is easy to measure can be much smaller than the total investment made previously which needs to be spread over all other social marketing campaigns.
Impossible Social Media Marketing ROI
As defining the initial investment is hard to figure out exactly and the return of your campaign can bring in results during many years, how can you ever define the exact ROI ?
Still even if you can’t measure your Social Media Marketing you should listen, monitor and analyze each of your Social Media Marketing campaigns in order to score and classify each of them. You will make distinctions between successful, not so successful and failures.