Measuring ROI of social media campaigns

February 11, 2010

by Melissa
Do you hear that pounding? It's social media banging down advertising's door. Old school metrics are getting knocked down and new methods for measuring the value of media campaigns are rising.
Bang. Good-bye to the practice of counting eyeballs as the number one indicator of successful PR. Bang, bang. Farewell to valuing number of hits above all other metrics. Bang, bang, bang. See ya later, advertising value equivalents (AVEs). Of course, this is targeted at media relations, as we know that PR runs much deeper than what most folks think when they think of "PR."
At a seminar led by Katie Paine of KDPaine & Partners, last week, we heard some hard numbers to back up the guidance we've been giving our clients, namely, that there is significant return-on-investment to be gained from in-depth social media campaigns.
Paine convincingly illustrated the power of social media:

  • 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, only 14 percent trust advertisements.
  • 48 percent of respondents to a PRWeek study said they were moving money out of advertising budgets into social media.
  • Procter & Gamble is now paying for engagement, not eyeballs.
  • IBM receives more leads, sales and exposure from a $500 podcast than it does from an ad.

In searching for ROI from social media activity, Paine advocates clearly defining the “R” and understanding that successful campaigns require real time and money for the “I.” While the door may be closing on the dominance of “old media,” it is opening wide for those ready to harness the influence, engagement and advocacy opportunities presented by social media networks.

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