Social Media ROI is Impossible to Calculate – Or is it?

money growing from the ground

There’s no single way to measure social media ROI. The value of a “fan” or “follower” is subjective. So is the value of a TV commercial viewer. But that doesn’t stop businesses from running ads in the middle of your favorite TV show. How valuable is a billboard impression? What’s the ROI of your guest recovery efforts? You can’t measure the ROI of studying your comp set. Yet most would agree that it'd be foolish not to study your comp set.

3 WAYS TO "MEASURE" SOCIAL MEDIA ROI

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to quantify everything. We live in a world of big data and analytics. Remember that marketing, and especially social media, can’t simply be plugged into an equation. But that doesn’t mean we should give up on trying to measure the impact of our efforts. Let's look at how we can accomplish this.

1) Look for anecdotal evidence

Keep track of specific times when social media was known to have influenced a situation. This requires teamwork. Keep your employees informed of your efforts so they can listen for relevant guest feedback. Incorporate social media questions into post-stay surveys.

2) Study the correlations

Align social media campaigns with business objectives. Tie social media metrics to key performance indicators (KPIs). Compare the data sets over time. Do key performance indicators improve in sync with social media efforts? Remember, everything must start with your business objectives.

3) Follow your comp set

Trust the wisdom of the crowd. If competitors find value in it, you’d be wise to at least match their efforts. There’s a reason why social media marketing has skyrocketed in recent years. Understand that you don’t have to understand the details in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

BOTTOM LINE

Measuring social media ROI is subjective. Then again, the hospitality industry as a whole is inherently subjective. What makes a hotel #1 on TripAdvisor? Is it a combination of variables that can be plugged into an equation? Of course not. There’s something intangible that goes into it. Something unseen and immeasurable. It’s the people, their smiles. The connections. The memories. Social media opens the door for us to establish meaningful connections at a time when guests are most interested. This pays dividends in the form of guest loyalty and increased brand awareness.

Serious hotel brands invest in the people and technology necessary to succeed. Have questions about how social media can further your business objectives? CONTACT US TODAY. You have so much to gain!

Kris is the lead consultant at White Sun Media, specializing in social media and online reputation management for hotels. Follow him on Twitter for tips on using social media more effectively.