5 B2B Social Metrics That Aren’t Helping You Find ROI

5 B2B Social Metrics That Aren’t Helping You Find ROI
By Emily Rugaber

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #000000;”]A[/dropcap]t its beginning, social media packed more “cool factor” than marketing impact, especially for B2B marketers. In the CMO Survey of 2009, one of the “Key Questions” CMOs raised was “What metrics are used to measure ROI for social media?” In the same survey this year, 45% of marketers couldn’t show the impact of social media at all, and another 41.8% could only show this “qualitatively.” Clearly B2B marketers are still unsure of how to glean true ROI from their social media data, even if they’re no longer asking for help.
With all of the pressure on marketers to prove the worth of their activities, this lack of quantitative insight into social media performance across paid, owned, and earned channels cannot stand. Yet the social “metrics” we all know, likes, followers and impressions, can be specific to the network, buried in a silo separate from marketing KPIs. And if certain social stats can’t be tied to other marketing initiatives, it will be nearly impossible to link them to ROI or organizational goals. It may be time to upgrade your social measurement from these metrics…to something a little deeper.

  1. 1) Followers

Followers is a well known vanity metric that has diminishing returns once you’ve built a core audience. That’s why some social media experts have suggested that it might even be more important to have a smaller, engaged audience than targeting the uninterested masses for followership.

  1. 2) Viewers and Views

King Pageview reigns no more. Although it’s nice to see views on unmanaged feeds like Twitter and Instagram, organic reach on some platforms is almost dead. On Facebook, for instance, only 0.07% of Facebook fans interacted with brand posts, according to a recent Forrester study. If your fans are seeing your post and not interacting, how truly aware and engaged are they with your brand?

  1. 3) Uniques

Although Facebook and LinkedIn both allow you to view “uniques”, individual users who have viewed your post, it can be difficult to get a full picture of this metric. The faulty switch in the unique machine? The timeframe. Although social networks like LinkedIn allow you to see the unique users who viewed your updates, it can be difficult to compare these uniques by timeframe, and to view repeat viewers.

  1. 4) Engagement Rate

Engagement rate seems like a simple metric, but it packs a secret punch. When marketers refer to “engagement rate,” they could define it two ways:

  • -Number of engagements per post. (# of engagements / # of posts)
  • -Number of engagements per impression. (# of engagements / # of impressions)

Even if your organization has agreed on a common definition of “engagement rate,” this metric isn’t useful unless you move from data to action. This rate can be helpful to inform your team on what content is performing well on each channel, but unless you use it to optimize your content, it won’t do anything for your social strategy.

  1. 5) Cost-Per-Impression (CPM)

Spray-and-pray is long gone. Now is the time for social ad optimization, and to map your social media advertising to deeper marketing and business goals. Instead of paying for impressions, decide what the designed actions and objectives for your campaign should be, then map your paid actions to that plan.

Emily Rugaber is the Director of Best Practices at GoodData responsible for providing thought leadership to prospects, customers and internal teams in common and strategic use cases.