Expert view: Measuring social ROI with Hootsuite’s Rylan Holey

Social ROI is no longer simply about measuring traffic, according to Hootsuite's Rylan Holey. So what is it about then?

social roi

Social ROI continues to befuddle and frustrate marketers around the globe.

Could you confidently step into a boardroom and demonstrate where social is bringing bottom-line value to your company? Not many would give an emphatic response to that question – at least not in the affirmative anyway.

Here to share how the world’s largest social media management platform helps its customers with social ROI is Rylan Holey, EMEA Partner Manager at Hootsuite.

Measuring social ROI

“Social ROI used to be about traffic and clicks, but organizations are now looking at it in a broader spectrum in terms of driving results for the business.

“At Hootsuite, our customers are expanding that definition of social ROI and are maturing the metrics they’re using depending on the types of business problems they’re trying to solve. One of the big things we find when we’re talking to customers is that there’s a big disconnect between what you can measure on social and what the business is trying to measure.

“One of the things I always talk about is that you really need to tie your social metrics to your business KPIs. It’s no longer just about traffic any more, it’s about how social is having an impact on sales, how it’s having an impact on how happy your customers are and what they think about you. This helps you get more effective buy-in from executives, which is a real challenge for marketers.

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“When brands can’t see the ROI from social, it’s usually because their data is fragmented and disconnected from what the business is trying to achieve. We need to start aligning content activity to customer journey stages.

“Some organizations are using the customer journey to actually start guiding measurement. Most of the data points for social are coming from the top end of the funnel. Really what we need to start doing as organizations is look at how social is having an impact across the rest of the funnel.

“So once your customer has acquired your solution or product, we should then be looking at the loyalty or advocacy side of the relationship. Doing that will really help you start to understand your customer experience much better.

“We did some research and it was really interesting to see that 37% believe social is really helping them to understand their customer preferences better. Also, 49% said that social is actually helping them drive better business decisions.

“It’s taken longer than we expected for this to start happening, but we’re there now. Social is starting to drive business decisions across organizations that wasn’t happening before.

“One final piece of advice I would give is to start with the easiest thing first, start tying to some core statistics that you want to look at. Make sure all of your posts where there’s links available have UTM tracking parameters that are connecting into your analytics.

“Finally, our framework for measuring social ROI is define, measure, improve. It’s a simple but effective model to use.”

Rylan was speaking at the DMWF conference in London that took place in April 2018.

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