Companies often ask their marketing team, what should we do next? How can we increase our brand awareness? How can we make consumers brand loyal? How? How? How?

When marketers answer with setting up a presence on social media channels, company executives shrink in their chairs. Uncharted territory, they mumble. A risk for the company, they whisper. How can they do this and see results, they finally verbalize.

For many companies that are not yet online or do not utilize online platforms, an unsettling feeling comes about when social media is mentioned. It is very difficult for a company to set the right tone and right image that resonates with their brand online. So of course, they may seem hesitant.

But, as mentioned in previous posts, online is the future. Consumers speak and influence each other online at remarkable rates. There is a two-way communication channel that reacts quickly to any buzz about brands.

So, it is evident that an online presence and social media is beneficial for a company and its brand. But, how does a company measure its success in terms of finances and reap its benefits?

One of my favorite bloggers, Brian Solis, mentions 5 factors to monitor that “define the progam’s ROI”

1. Number of Touchpoints

  • Marketers can track how many people view their content through likes-per-fan and retweet ratios. Beauty of online marketing is you can really see how customers are coming to your page and what they are doing with the content.

2. Time

  • There is research available to see how long fans are digesting the information they see and spread. The more time spent and more content being viewed, the better.

3. Trust

  • People trust their friends and their followers online. A company can see if this trust resonates with their brand by looking at shares on Facebook or even comments. They can also look at retweet-to-tweet ratios as a sign of trust among the community.

4. Sentiment

  • Companies can really research what people are saying about their brands online. The words that are being used can form sentiment around the brand. If a company finds that a negative connotation to the brand is being made through the words being used, they can put in place an action plan to alleviate the damage.

5. Income 

  • The information about the demographic of fans and followers is available through social media. This is crucial for campaigns to be successful when they target a certain demographic.

It is not an easy task to interpret the results from social media. There are various analytic tools and ROI calculations out there to help make this task easier. Each company can set up their own measuring tools that are suitable to use. In the end, as many companies have proven, if done right, it can be very beneficial.