Measuring Social Media ROI – Can it be done?

On his popular “DigitalBuzzBlog“, Aden Hepburn recently published a post commenting on the latest video from the gang at Socialnomics:

“Social Media ROI is the hardest job in town”

In the post, largely based on a post published on Socialnomics’s own blog, Aden claims that:

“Everyone knows that trying to measure Social Media ROI is the hardest job in town. It’s so diverse in every application that there is no single (or simple) way to measure all the outputs into a single report, let alone track sales indirectly from the effects of their social presence.”

Granted, a single dashboard for measuring the effects of your Social Media efforts, isn’t something I’ve come across yet. However there are a number tools that can give you a pretty good idea, especially when used together.

Introducing Better Google Analytics

For those of you using Firefox there’s a free and funky solution I’ve been using for a while and highly recommend: The “Better Google Analytics” GreaseMonkey scripts by Erik Vold.

Better Goolge Analytics add, amongst other nifty features, a set of social media related data to your standard Google Analytics dashboard. Since Better Google Analytics is a GreaseMonkey script all you have to do is install the addon and your good to go – simple, quick and zero risk.

Do you Youtube insight?

Another tip is the splendid “Youtube Insight” dashboard accessible with any Youtube account.
Once you have enough volume, Youtube Insight provides great demographic data regarding the people who’ve viewed your videos. If most of the views for your video come from embedded views on your video you can also easily cross reference the Insight data with the any other stats you collect.

Tubemogul for video analytics

My last tip is also related to video:
Tubemogul, an excellent video syndication platform, has a nice analytics panel for following cross domain video campaigns that they make available to free accounts as well. You’re welcome to learn more about what they do from the following video presentation I found on their homepage:

Measuring Social Media ROI – Not easy, but not impossible either

Indeed a 1-stop-shop for tracing and proving Social Media ROI is, as of now, still unavailable. But, if you’re prepared to invest a little extra time, you can piece together a pretty complete picture from the fragments that are available.

Does Microsoft have a LookingGlass up its sleeve?

As a final note, for those of you who remember, in September the web was all a-buzz about Microsoft’s LookingGlass which will supposedly finally answer the market’s need for a one-stop Social Media analytics panel. I Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see…


Funnily enough, an hour after publishing this post I found an excellent post by David Berkowitz that lists no less than 100 ways to measure social media. A day later I ran into a great post by Urs Gattiker of SocialMediaToday, that did an excellent job of analyzing why Social Media ROI analysis often fails and suggested a few point for planning strategy that helps avoid these pitfalls.

image credit: annia316