Data and Social ROI: The big challenge

Return on Investment in Social Media: Part 2 of Susanne von Gwinner’s discussion of the uses of data, and the ways we can use it across entire industries.

Return on Investment in Social Media: Part 2 of Susanne von Gwinner’s discussion of the uses of data, and the ways we can use it across entire industries.

Data was key talking point at Brandwatch’s latest “Now You Know” conference in Denver. With powerful social intelligence platforms like Brandwatch in place, companies and agencies are faced with the question of how to find the right path among data, tools and experience. You can read part 1 here.

Social ROI

A panel on “Discovering the ROI in Social” with representatives from Walmart, Bank of America and Toys R Us revealed there is no one right way and no standard (yet) on how to measure social ROI.

Whether differentiating between the Hard ROI (numbers for the CFO) and Soft ROI (results not quantifiable like customer experience, customer loyalty etc.); discussion about industry standards for Social ROI; and, finally, untapped data in images, videos and emoji’s – it is clear that all companies approach the question of the Social ROI in different ways.

The question is simple: how do you put a number on social data, which involves a high level of the human element? E-commerce companies have the easiest job in measuring the revenue from social channels. Determining ROI for businesses using social for customer service or brand awareness, is a lot harder.

Overall advice from the experts is:

  • work backwards from objectives to social
  • don’t be afraid to experiment and
  • be flexible

I know what you’re thinking… this sounds a lot like trial and error right?

The key is to see this as an exciting opportunity

As we try to establish a consistent approach to defining social ROI, will the industry manage to agree on common terms? The only way to know is to wait and see. We know there’s a lot of scope for experimentation and innovation, for those bold enough to act…

This is part 2 of 3 from Susanne von Gwinner, Text100’s Insights and Analytics maven in EMEA. You can find part 1 here, and look out for part 3, coming soon.

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