Measuring the Value of Social Media

Effective methods of measuring the value of social media efforts often depend on how your company is using social media and for what purpose. The following examples provide methodology and perspective on four key social media measurement opportunities.

1. Intent to Travel

Tool: Post-campaign surveys

What you’ll need:

  • A survey tool (e.g. SurveyMonkey);
  • Email leads generated as a result of the campaign;
  • Questions that will help you quantify attributable visitor spend (e.g. Did you complete or plan travel to xyz as a result of participating in the XYZ promotion?;
  • A small incentive (e.g. a $50 gift card);
  • Economic impact data (e.g. average spend per person per day, average length of stay per person, etc.).
2. Direct Bookings

Tool: Incentives unique to social media

What you’ll need:

  • A promotion unique to social media or specific social media platforms (e.g. Facebook offer, Twitter perks);
  • Online booking that supports promo codes;
  • Staff willing to track in-store offer redemptions;
  • Unique phone extensions for every channel (e.g. Phone.com).
3. Indirect Bookings

Tool: An analytics package

What you’ll need:

  • A package as powerful as Google Analytics or better;
  • Trackable links (e.g. Google URL Builder combined with a tool like bit.ly or Budurl);
  • Cookies to track users’ activity over a period of time (e.g. 7 days or 30 days depending on your product);
  • Attribution model to credit revenue to various channels (e.g. Time-decay model which gives more credit to interactions closest to the time the user converted).
4. Earned Media

Tool: A qualitative measurement system

What you’ll need:

Think beyond the traditional ad equivalency model and develop a qualitative measurement system that takes into account the type of story, tier of outlet, visuals, and other value-driven measures based on whether coverage is consumer-focused, industry related or found on a relevant blog.

None of these methods is perfect, but we encourage you to start here and develop more sophisticated systems as you move along. Let us know if you tried any of these and share any wisdom you gained along the way.

One last thing: you can download a pdf cheat sheet with the information in this post here.