When only 17% of CMOs say they can prove the ROI of their customer engagement on social media, it brings to mind the well-worn phrase from 19th-Century poet Robert Burns, “The best-laid schemes of mice and men” that go on to address how things can go awry.
That statistic comes from recent research by Khoros and becomes even more critical in today’s environment, with many brands trying to stave off budget cuts while proving the value of different strategies like social media.
What kind of plans can CMOs employ to present results to senior management in defending their budget and demonstrating their value?
While a lot of focus has been placed on the number of followers and impressions a brand receives, it’s time to concentrate on what matters, the brand’s value and consumers’ awareness of it.
That’s what leads to sales. Direct attention to surveys that validate the effectiveness of the brand’s content to prove the merits of customer engagement.
Similarly, it’s important to know how well customers understand the brand. Algorithms and engagement metrics keep evolving but what’s more important is the growth of consumer brand awareness.
Has there been an increase in positive brand awareness since the last quarter?
Do more consumers understand the brand and its values?
These are some of the issues that should be measured, unlike previous surveys.
Monitor social media comments as well as NPS (net promoter score) across all channels, particularly the negative ones. Have they increased? If so, that may be a cause of concern. Are many around the same issue or concern? In addition to responding to them, gather the team to determine what can be done to reduce the frequency of these negative comments and scores, and turn these around into future positive feedback.
Do whatever is possible to follow customers by demonstrating their journey from engagement to sale or even how the latter sped up their purchase. Did the customer spend more time on the brand’s platform, and was the journey less costly and more efficient? If those questions can be answered, it will also help demonstrate ROI.
According to Khoros’s research, a brand needs to engage with seven people before a purchase is made. As a result, numbers count, and engaging with curious visitors is also important. Continue measuring them as each visit adds up.
The value should be more than income. In seeking a broader view of ROI, try viewing value in a collective sense. What does the brand’s NPS (net promoter score) reveal about ROI, and what do survey analyses say about customer engagement? All tactics should be driving customer engagement efforts to the top of the funnel. If not, adjustments are necessary. The same goes for customer affinity toward the brand.
Teamwork today is more critical than ever, and all departments must be aware of and embrace these plans to prove ROI. Silos cannot be permitted to exist. Where applicable, KPIs for the responsible departments also need to be understood and agreed to so that reporting is clear going forward.