Can you measure your ROI on Facebook? This question has been hotly debated among marketers ever since the platform was adopted by businesses as a marketing tool. For many marketers, Facebook was something that they decided to pursue solely because “everyone else was doing it.” While this teenage mentality may have gotten them to use the platform, it certainly didn’t teach them what to do once they were there.
This has left many marketers fumbling in the dark when it comes to Facebook. While we can see (often arbitrary) numbers like followers, likes, and fans, we don’t have any great statistics that can help us tie our Facebook efforts to revenue — at least not just by looking at our profiles.
But where many marketers have been led astray is by the misconception that Facebook efforts must be tied to ROI. What you get out of your Facebook presence depends on one simple thing: your objectives. Whether or not your Facebook is contributing to your bottom line, as long as it’s accomplishing the goals that you’ve set for it, then you’re on the right track.
So how can you tell if your Facebook page is, in fact, accomplishing your objectives? Take a look at four common use cases for Facebook below, and how you can measure their success.
Objective 1: Lead Generation
Monitor: Analytics Data
If the goal of your Facebook page is to generate leads, then you’ll need to rely on statistics generated by Google Analytics or a marketing automation system to get insight into your impact on revenue. With a system like marketing automation, leads can be attached to campaigns (like “Facebook”), and those campaigns will be associated with the leads’ point of entry into the sales cycle. When a deal closes, you can attribute that revenue to its source: in this case, Facebook.
Objective 2: Brand Perception
If your goal is less focused on revenue and more focused on brand perception, you’re going to want to spend more time monitoring conversations and sentiment than analytics data. Facebook is primarily a sharing platform, so keep an eye on what people are saying about you. If you’re being talked about in a positive light, then keep up the good work! If comments are mostly negative, then you may need to be more proactive when it comes to reaching out to address users’ needs and complaints. Sentiment data is not available through Facebook Insights, so you’ll either need to monitor manually or use a social media monitoring tool.
Objective 3: Customer Retention
Monitor: Conversations, Comments, Shares, and Visitors
Customer retention can be a tricky goal to measure on Facebook. It goes past just looking at your fans and likes, and ties more closely with engagement. If you’re hoping to retain customers, you need to keep them engaged and interested in your brand. Your best customers are the ones who tend to seek you out on Facebook to show their support and get a glimpse of the people behind the brand, so look for ways to interact with them and reward their loyalty. Keeping tabs on comments, shares, visitors (new and repeat), and your top interactors will tell you how engaged your Facebook audience is, and thereforef how invested they are in your brand.
Objective 4: Recruitment
Monitor: Applications Submitted through Facebook, Referrals, Engagement
Many companies are using Facebook primarily as a recruitment tool, rather than for lead generation or customer retention. Since the content you post to your Facebook should be more focused on showing off your company and what sets you apart (think pictures and community involvement), you’ll need to turn to vanity metrics like shares and likes to see how potential candidates are engaging with that content. You can also use a Facebook application like The Resumator to create a fully-functional job board on your Facebook page. When candidates submit applications via Resumator, they’ll be sourced as coming from Facebook, giving you a way to track how successful your Facebook page is as a recruitment tool.
Once you know what your objectives are, measuring the return on your Facebook investment is as easy as optimizing your Facebook for that strategy and measuring accordingly. In the future, more robust Facebook analytics will find their way into marketers’ hands, like detailed sentiment analysis and conversation monitoring tools. But for now, marketers just need to work with what they have to measure more abstract objectives like thought leadership and customer retention.
Facebook does have value for business in one way or another, you just need to prove it.