RETURN ON INFLUENCE. In social media, this is the new ROI

by Administrator

December 27th, 2011

RETURN ON INFLUENCE. In social media, this is the new ROI, and it's a term that represents qualitative results more than quantitative statistics. Return on Influence is concerned with engagement, rather than the monetary investment and profits associated with social media metrics.

The social connections you make through your web strategy are at the core of your influence --- it's this strategy that affects the perceptions, attitudes and actions of your audience. The first product that your web engagement should create is impact. Your impact is relative to your social media influence (new ROI), while standard ROI seeks to attribute a financial value (something that will typically be a secondary result of your social media efforts). These two ROI's require different perspectives when measuring a program's success, and for many, the assessment of return on influence is more telling than the return on investment. For example, let's look at volume.

Whether you're calculating Facebook fans, Twitter followers or website traffic, this metric can be seen in two ways:

 1. Return on Investment: i.e. How many Facebook fans did you gain after spending $1,000 on a Facebook ad campaign? Say you achieved 2,000 new 'likes' -- that would appear productive and efficient from a financial perspective. Your quantitative assessment = Success

2. Return on Influence: i.e. If you achieved 2,000 new fans over the course of your $1,000 Facebook ad campaign, how many of those 2,000 fans took the action you ultimately desire (shared your page, posted a comment, joined your contest, etc.)? If only 400 of those new fans took action, you could assume your engagement is low, and therefore, could be improved since your ultimate objective should be to impact behaviors rather than just extend your reach. Your qualitative assessment = Needs improvement

Some other KPI's (key performance indicators) you can use to measure your Return on Influence include:

 •Participation Behavior

 •Brand Stature

 •Resonance

 •Loyalty

 •Advocacy