In order to convince a company, or even an individual, to embrace social media you have to prove ROI. You and I both know this already.
However, in order to prove ROI you really need to start talking numbers. We’re talking about referral visits, search engine visits, time spent on site, click through rates, acquisition rates, and so on and so forth.
When it comes to online advertising and web analytics, there are plenty of concrete metrics. Most of these have been tested for over a decade and are now ubiquitous. More importantly, there are many tools and resources that can meet our needs and provide these metrics.
Unfortunately, I have yet to see any social media company truly embrace metrics and provide their own reporting service. Yes, Facebook did supply us with Facebook insights. Insights; however, is pretty awful even when it is working (which as of recently isn’t very often). Twitter too has failed to provide us with a reporting platform and although many third party providers, including bit.ly, are trying to fill the void, it’s just not good enough yet.
Every platform should place metrics and reporting functionality at the top of their priority list, even if for no other reason than to appease the brands and organizations that can help monetize these platforms.
Questions that we need more insight into:
Where are referrals coming from?
What is the conversion rate of visits to fans/followers?
What is the average time spent on individual pages?
What are my Entry and Exit page rates?
What are my form abandonment rates?
Damn it this could go on forever but yet progress seems to be non-existent. Social media companies, we all want more metrics in a quick and easily accessible way.
As a marketer, what other metrics are important to you? Are Social Media meeting your needs? Do you have everything you need to prove ROI?