Trying to to find or demonstrate the ROI in social media is like trying to find the Lost City of Atlantis. People are convinced it exists, but so far, it still remains a myth, undiscovered. As it stand now, there’s no definitive social ROI metric or measure.
That said, there are different ways to justify social spend and demonstrate the value their brands can mine from a successful social endeavours.
Think of Ikea, which successfully exploited the social media furor that exploded when fledgling Toronto sporting magnate, Drake, unleashed a lint roller on his pants during the Raptors’ playoff run to further its #houserules campaign.The brand made a timely play off of an existing social behaviour and their success was ultimately proven in social goodwill.
So, in lieu of definitely demonstrable social ROI metric, we asked featured CM1 speaker Tessa Sproule, Director of Digital, CBC – Content to share with us five ways of achieving and then proving social success.
To-date, nobody has proven a direct causal connection between social “buzz” and TV ratings, for example.
“As one of my research colleagues says, ‘Social is a great thermometer. It can tell you if it’s hot outside, but it doesn’t make it hot outside’,” says Sproule.
“Be a host — introduce people to each other, give them something to talk about, and then get out of the way.”
People talking positively about your show/brand on social platforms is never a bad thing, so the smart play is to give them something to talk about.
“Be smart and selective about what that is and make sure you’re putting it out to the people who are most likely to love/share/engage with it,” says Sproule. “Our experience shows that there’s a core 5% of super fans who are going to create the majority of the social buzz around your show/brand.”
“It’s not about how many ‘likes’ you have, but how many people are actually engaging with the content your sharing.”
People don’t want to talk to soulless automatons. They want to get the sense that, when they’re interacting with brands via social, there’s a living, breathing person on the other end of the conversation.
“We are social at our core as human beings,” says Sproule. “The technology/platform is just a tool that enables us to be more social. Don’t let the technology/platform take over your conversation. It’s not about how many ‘likes’ you have, but how many people are actually engaging with the content your sharing.”
Fish where the fish are, not in the woods
Know your target 5%. Know your super fan.
“Know what they like, how they use social platforms, what they share,” says Sproule. “Figure out how to engage with them on their terms, rather than trying to pull them into multiple sites/platforms — because they won’t.”
“Building a vibrant community of people who love your show/brand is like hosting an awesome party,” says Sproule. “Be a fun host, not the kind who wants to schedule the party like a military parade. And be a host — introduce people to each other, give them something to talk about, and then get out of the way.”