• Social Media ROI – Your Measurement Questions Answered

    Posted on January 19, 2011 by in automotive, ebusiness


    One of the most asked questions I get from dealers is “How do I measure my return in my social media endeavours?”

    Fair enough question.

    My answer really depends on how each store views social media. Should there even be a “return” or is it just an extension of business ethics?

    There are certainly A LOT of qualitative benefits such as Brand Awareness, Loyalty, Interaction, Trust, Passion…. and I am usually told that these items are very difficult to measure.

    Fragmentation doesn’t help either. So many different avenues that it can be difficult to choose the best path.

    To best start to realize HOW to arrive at a return we need to understand that Social Media affects more of your organizations attributes than just boosting sales. Understanding this, choose which indicators you want to move, ignoring meaningless metrics like number of followers. We need to look past that, yet most dealers base their success on this metric. Its more than just getting attention.

    How about focusing on some of these:

    increase form submits (call to action) on web page

    reduction in support costs

    reduction in service calls

    increase in pagerank

    increase in web traffic

    increase geolocation traffic

    retweets from influential people

    increase in coupon traffic

    Point is, choose a specific event/task/goal and track that.

    Each dealer needs to define their own relevant success metrics from one of two areas and then set the campaign goals based on them:

    Quantitative – Sales, new leads, new subscribers, service appointments

    Qualitative – Satisfaction, loyalty, authority, interaction, feedback

    Measuring QUALITATIVE Returns

    For example, say you want to build Loyalty and Trust. Could be as simple as this:

    Goal: Build Loyalty And Trust
    Action: Be Nice To consumers who mention dealer / product on Twitter

    Success Metrics

    Goal Owner
    Amount of positive comments sent to consumers per week 

    Amount of conversations that started from the comment

    XX amount of positive conversations about dealership / product per week Marketing Manager


    Now you have a hard data way to measure the success of that initiative.

    Remember, social media requires LISTENING as well as talking. You should be listening to what people are saying about you regardless if you choose to take action. How you listen is another topic…

    How about Satisfaction? Glad you asked:

    Goal: Increase Satisfaction
    Action: Engage with consumers / prospects asking what they would like from you

    Success Metrics



    Amount of good suggestions that your dealership hadn’t thought of

    Amount of above your dealership actually implements

    XX amount of suggestions collected per month and XX amount actually implemented

    Marketing Manager


    Another one I frequently get asked about is increasing Authority on your business. You can do this in many ways such as this blog campaign:

    Goal: Increase Authority
    Action: Start a Blog on a topic you are an expert in. Focus on writing authoritative content first, promoting dealership second

    Success Metrics



    Amount of influential blogs linking to you

    Pagerank relative to competitors

    Amount of organic traffic per month

    Amount of traffic converting to lead

    Amount of traffic converting to sales

    XX Pagerank by certain date

    XXth position in Pagerank relative to competitors by certain date

    XX% of organic traffic per month

    $XX per month attributable to referrals from blog

    Marketing Manager


    These are just a few examples of how you can begin to measure your return for very specific social media campaigns. You can have multiple Actions within Goals

    Measuring QUANTITATIVE Returns

    Using the same process as measuring qualitative returns, you can measure quantitative returns.

    Lets say you want to increase offline parts sales.

    Goal: Increase Offline Oil Filter Sales
    Action: Implement promotion on social media platform. Give participants printable coupon for tracking

    Success Metrics



    Monthly parts counter oil filter sales

    monthly parts counter store traffic

    $XX monthly parts counter oil filter sales

    XX% increase in store parts counter traffic over promotion period

    Parts Department

    Marketing Manager


    You get the picture. Drill down.

    Defining the “R” in ROI is where we need to focus, as it relates to our business goals and performance indicators specifically. Even though much of social media is free, we do know the cost of engagement as it relates to employees, time, equipment, and opportunity cost (what they’re not focusing on or accomplishing while engaging in social media). Tying those costs to the results will reveal a formula for assessing the “I” as investment.

    When we truly grasp the ability to define action and measure it, we can expand the impact of new media beyond the profit and loss. We can adapt business processes, inspire ingenuity, and more effectively compete for the future.