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So, you have a business with a proper marketing function and you already have a presence on Twitter / LinkedIn / Facebook / YouTube and you fancy seeing how much your social media is delivering to your bottom line and how you can get more from your efforts?

Well, read on.

Firstly there is some stuff that you may well already be doing, and if you’re not, you should be!

Can you answer the following 4 marketing questions?

  1. How many hits on your website do you need to generate each new client?
  2. How many tweets/updates do you need to send to each follower on average to generate one hit on your website?
  3. What is the average value of a customer?
  4. What is the cost per hour of your marketing function?
…and the following 2 social media questions
  1. How many (engaged) followers/connections do you have?
  2. What is the average time taken to produce a tweet/update expressed as a fraction of an hour

If not, you need to install some sort of web analytics on your site and you need to cross reference hits with sales (not difficult). You also need to do the same thing for your social media presence with the use of trackable url’s and facebook analytics as need to understand what proportion of your followers/friends/connections are engaged with you. Without this you’re being very unrealistic about your reach and really just playing at social media.

If you can answer these questions you can calculate how many tweets/updates you need to send to generate a new customer.

Here’s how. Put your figures in to this equation;

  •                        (A/B) x C) x D
  • ROI =      ________________
  •                                E x F

where:

  • A is how many hits on your website do you need to generate each new client.
  • B is how many tweets/updates you need to send to each follower on average to generate one hit on your website
  • C is how many followers/connections you have
  • D is the average value of a customer over whatever time period you want to measure ROI
  • E is the cost per hour of your marketing function
  • F is the average time taken to produce a tweet/update expressed as a fraction of an hour

I don’t know whether this has made you happy or sad (probably sad) but at least you know…now you can go and make things a whole heap better by changing some (or all) of the following;

  • better website architecture/content/call to action
  • different tone of voice in tweets/updates
  • more frequent tweets/updates
  • larger follower numbers

There are of course other factors, but this is the starting point.

So what will this way of working give you?

  • control over your number of new clients (by increasing/decreasing social media activity you can increase /decrease the number of hits and therefore clients your website generates)
  • a clear indication of where the areas of weakness in your online/social marketing strategies lie
  • accountability for your social function and an ability to predict sales very accurately

and of course peace of mind!