Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Twitter Introduces Analytic Tool...What's the ROI?

Twitter announced they are introducing an official analytic tool.  This was reported on Social Media Today, dated September 15, 2011.  According to post, Twitter stated, the analytic "tool will help website owners  understand how much traffic they receive from Twitter and the effectiveness of Twitter on their sites..."
Some of the metrics include:
  • "See how Twitter content is being shared around the web"
  • "Track the amount of Traffic to a company website-including clicks per tweet"
  • Measure the "effectiveness" of the "official" Twitter buttons"
  • "An API allowing third party analytic tools to incorporate the data"
While it is premature to come to conclusions, it seems to me that the analytic tools does not provide insight into a quantifiable return on investment.  My earlier blog "Use Social Media for Retention, Not Acquisition" discussed an October 2010 Gallup Poll survey of 17,000 social media users.  Their findings concluded in part that the general social media metrics do not convey engagement.  Therefore, the effectiveness of Twitter buttons or the level of shared content are the type of metrics Gallup's analyst believed didn't measure true engagement.

In my mind true "engagement" occurs when there is a positive financial impact or an action that can lead to a positive financial impact.  While too numerous to name all, some can include:

  • Building an opt-in list for future communication (and sales) such as:
    • Mobile
    • Email
    • Postal
  • Referral marketing that is direct attributed to a customer "telling a friend" that buys your product or service(s).
  • Leveraging your existing customers onto your social media platform(s) to talk (sell) your product or service.RATHER than advertising on the platform(s) to acquire a new "like", "follower" (you choose).
  • Generating sales directly attributed to the social media campaign.
True analytic measurement will occur when we can follow the path of each social media engagement when it crosses over from social to a transaction.  Only in this way can we really measure an "engagement". I realize social media practitioners will probably disagree.  Social media, like all other advertising has costs associated with it.  If we have assigned staff to handle our social media, companies want to see a return for their dollar.  Without financial metrics to support the staff assigned, it becomes problematic viewing a "download" or a "like" to support continued financial outlays.

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