Can You Measure Social Media Returns?

Social-Media-IconsHave you ever thought this: “I’d get involved in social media, but there’s just no way to tell if I’m getting any results from it.

How about this one: “We’d set up a Facebook [or Twitter or YouTube] account, but we have no idea how to measure whether or not our social media efforts are working.

These are the excuses that I hear often from companies who aren’t yet involved in social media. That’s all they are, though–excuses.

A new post on Ragan from Danny Brown pretty much busts the return on social media investment excuse for not getting involved. In the post, How to measure 5 popular social media channels, Brown lists questions that you can ask yourself for each of five popular social media platforms (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Mobile) to determine whether or not your usage of a particular platform is effective.

The central message of Brown’s post is simple, though. Set a concrete goal for what you expect to achieve through social media involvement and then ask yourself whether that goal is being met. It’s really that simple.

Of course, Brown is not the only blogger to come up with suggestions for measuring social media returns. Here are six other posts dealing with the measurement of social media results:

  • From Michael Brito at Search Engine Journal, Measuring Social Media Marketing: It’s Easier than you Think!
  • From Aaron Uhrmacher at Mashable, How to Measure Social Media ROI for Business
  • From Chris Brogan, Measuring Social Media Efforts
  • From Ryan Deutsch at Social Media Examiner, How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance
  • From John Jantsch at Social Media Today, How to Measure Social Media Like a Scientist
  • From Brian Solis, ROI: How to Measure Return on Investment in Social Media

The bottom line is that if you want to measure your return on your social media efforts there is plenty of material out there to help you figure out a way to do it.

Not being able to measure results is not really a legitimate excuse any more. (You may have another valid reason for not being involved in social media, but measurement can’t be the reason.)

Are you holding back from building an online brand for your company or product through social media? (Because that’s usually what social media is all about–building your brand…)

If you’re not involved in social media yet, what exactly is it that is holding you back?

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