Why We Quit Focusing on Quick Social Media ROI: A New Approach of Screening Conversions

Do you calculate the return on your investment in social media marketing?

It looks irrelevant not to, however, that’s exactly the path we’re tinkering with at Socioboard.

We’ve lately moved our attention toward e-mail list-building combined with ongoing traffic growth. These analytics are usually sufficient; it’s what we’ve ceased calculating instead of e-mail that’s most notable and unique.

We no longer concentrate on social media ROI. It’s weird but true. We are a social media blog that doesn’t focus social media ROI in our numbers and scheme. So what we provide? Let’s take a closer look

A Quite Complicated Definition: What is Social media ROI?

Social Media ROI

Well, outlining social media ROI could be a bit of a spiky issue.

Socioboard’s tools & services came along to simply help reveal the figures behind one’s social media impact. However, picking which figures are best—engagement, conversions, clicks etc.—is still extremely controversial and very unique to a person.

There is also a bigger level view of accessing social media ROI with a right perspective. We have some fascinating ideas on this. It challenges the linear, traditional outlook of ROI like a universal standard by indicating that ROI is extremely at the mercy of the user.

You’ll find a plenty of factors that impact ROI, therefore often the answer to the question for “What Is the Return on Investment of X, Y, and Z” comes to “it depends on.”

Obviously, it’s tough to quantify “it depends on.”

What do we think of Social Media ROI at Socioboard?

Before we get too deep into this post, I would like to portray what I convey when I am discussing social media ROI.

  1. We’ve stopped concentrating on conversions as a crucial metric for our blog.
  2. Our blog contents are the key element to our social media strategy. Around 90% of our social media updates derive from contents we have created on the blog.
  3. So, the return on investment for our social media updates can be explained as conversions from our blog. These conversions will be the ROI of sharing content. Meanwhile, conversions aren’t our primary focus, social media ROI takes a backseat.

From this reconsidering of metrics and ROI, we’ve obtained a small new vision of social media from a marginally different perspective. Social media, above all, is about branding–and it’s increasingly hard to measure branding as an immediate, one to one conversion. In plenty of ways, you cannot expect immediate ROI from branding or content marketing. We have created an absorbing image that reveals how conversions and value alter the more you get off from direct-marketing and into branding and content.

horizons_graph-v2_669x446

The shortest, simplest conversions occur with immediate response. As you dive deeper into the content & branding, the conversion rules change. They get harder.

content-marketing

So, we discover the scale of conversion, time and effectiveness (as highlighted in the graph) to be slightly out of sync with our tools. Larger agencies and companies may have the ability to monitor this volume, however, for us–and perhaps for you–we have decided to take a different route.

What makes ROI measurement so difficult for content marketing? Here’s our postulate.

Where Content and Conversions Diverge?

It might look that the most clear-cut approach to concentrate on social media ROI is to search for conversions. This is the mindset I made when I first started at Socioboard and one that I envision most content marketers and creators ascribe to. You can also say that conversions are in our DNA.

Well to my surprise; I wasn’t looking at the complete picture.

While conversions are similar to revenue and growth, the blog may not be the best spot to quantify them. There are many other factors along the way from curious to a consumer that are better quantified when it comes to direct ROI. If you think of this journey as a channel, the blog is close to the very best, trying to pick up as much attention and as much curiosity as possibly. Conversions often take place much later on in this process, further down the channel, like in this illustration below.

We list five factors why content marketing may fail, starting straight away together with the issue of thinking that the contents come with an immediate effect on conversion.

Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-10.38.17-AM

ROI measurement is kind of complicated, wouldn’t you say? That is the conclusion we come to on the Socioboard blog. While it’s not hard to monitor conversions and ROI via this multiple movement (some very smart folks and trendy tools have figured it out), we discovered that our social media attempts to push visitors to our contents could be quantified in different ways (see below). Social media ROI is a hard nut to break.

When it is great to Quantify Social Media ROI

A week ago, there’s an article published on Unbounce focusing on conversion and that article got me stop in my courses. I’m a social media marketer. Why do not I value conversions?

As a matter of fact, I do worry about conversions and return on investment. It is simply that my conversions seem somewhat different than what many people expect. This is a great quote from Angie Schottmuller of Three Deep Marketing:

“Advertising is a power to ease actions. Conversions are merely the conclusion of an offered action. Whether it is purchase now, share socially, call today or watch the video, all advertising contents wants a purposeful proactive approach. If you’re not supporting your users to get to the next phase in their decision-making procedure, then what is the point of marketing?”

No advertising channels are excused from being actionable or useful. Online or offline, from e-mails to print advertising, a useful, value-added call-to-action must always be included & optimized.”

By this definition, we’re calculating conversions at the Socioboard blog. We are measuring how our visitors change to e-mail subscribers.

I think it is great to point out that there are still other ways of watching at social media ROI beyond an influence to the blog. Your social media strategy may not be as content-heavy as mine. Perhaps you are marketing products or occasions, and these might fit more conversions and traditional measure ROI. It will be best in your interest to monitor ROI when you are sharing few of the following:

— Event registration

— Landing Pages

— Direct CTAs (like Facebook or Twitter cards, for example)

— New product launching or announcements

Thoughts on what you could measure instead

At the Socioboard Blog, we have chosen to gauge e-mail sign-ups as our key analytics. E-Mail sign-ups offer us an amazing possibility to speak directly with people who wants to listen from us. It is quite the honor! (While we are at it, sign up to our blog to receive latest updates on social media marketing tips & tactics!) We believe that producing contents which are of the supreme quality that makes people excited to see it arrive within their inbox is a wonderful target to shoot for.

With e-mail sign-ups as our primary target, we’ve also got a fresh look in few other analytics which may be worth monitoring, too. There is likely no avoiding for the measurement of blog visitors; here, as we increase visitors to our blog, we are also growing more opportunities to gather more e-mails. Moreover, social shares stay important as well.

Here are additional thoughts that we have mulled over:

— Returning visitors vs. new visitors

— Engagement with content

— Time on site

— Pages per visit

— Bounce rate

Over to you: What can you calculate?

Social media measurement is among those topics that can end in endless point of insights and interesting conversations.

We have discovered the traditional perspective of conversions doesn’t really match our blog’s location in the conversion trip. At the moment, we feel great focusing on holding conversions through e-mail signups and continuing increase of visitors and shares. You might have an entirely different strategy!

I would love to listen to your thoughts, opinions and strategy in the comment section below. What can you measure in terms of content marketing and social media analytics, and how? How significant is social media ROI?