Making Sense of Social Media and ROI in the Digital Age

October 21st, 2013

Making sense of social media and ROIby Tom Kowalski*

Let’s be honest, social media in terms of ROI is overwhelming and convoluted.  How does one make sense of it all in a digital age where everyone has a decreased attention span and increased multi-tasking?  It’s impossible to give 100 percent to anything you do while multitasking.  So, in this day of #hashtag and social media platform overload, how do we give 100 percent, while effectively managing the online chatter?

I attended three presentations at last week’s Digital PR Summit: “The Wake-Up Call: PR’s Role in the Social Landscape,” “How to Measure and Communicate Social Media ROI,” and “What’s in Your Toolbox? Social Media Monitoring Tools – the Paid and the Free.” The common denominator throughout each presentation was listening.  Are you a good listener?  Listening well will ultimately equate to success.

But how can we be great listeners with so many different social media platforms that each play a significant role in the marketing DNA of our organizations, and how can we do it in an efficient and effective way?  There are platforms out there that bundle your various social media accounts, offering a one-stop-shop to listen and engage.  But what if the budget doesn’t allow for that?

Trying to sell social media to your C-suite to obtain a budget can be tough.  Executives want to see instant tangible results.  So before you give your elevator pitch, have a customized strategy with the organization’s end goals clearly defined and present the information real-time.  Don’t overload execs and bring them into the entire realm of the social media vortex; rather, start small, perhaps using Twitter and Faceboook as a sample.  Remember that your focus should never be whether you’re good at social media, but whether you’re good at business.

If there’s one question clients constantly ask me, it’s to provide suggestions to better analyze their coverage.  There is no magic equation, as there are many different factors that need to be taken into consideration to show ROI.  Therefore, the question is always turned into a consultation to discuss the organization’s needs before presenting a detailed road map.  As companies and the digital age rapidly evolve, so will reporting methodologies.

It seems that we’ve come far, but there is still a long road ahead on analysis of coverage in the digital age.  One size does not fit all and it’s imperative that you’re a good listener with a strategy that is mindful of your organization’s goals.


*As an account manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than seven years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @IntheknoTK Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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