“What’s the ROI of social?” That’s a question I always tackle in my talks on digital measurement, and for good reason – we want to know if programs work to help brands reach their financial goals, and how much they are contributing.
In many instances, ROI is difficult to measure, but as measurement expert Katie Paine (shown left), CEO of Paine Publishing points out, “but that doesn’t mean they are bad investments.”
Katie and I advocate understanding the value of investments brands make in social initiatives. She recently issued a 7 guideline set that provides utterly practical advice for communicators who want to understand their results and share them across the organization.
Katie Paine’s 7 Rules for Measuring Social and PR Value
- Count all costs, direct and apportioned
- Be conservative with forecasting your expected results
- Explain everything in language your listener/reader easily understands
- Make sure the value matches the objectives and/or goals. Use relevant metrics, not vanity measures that look good.
- Do not try to measure a long-term strategy with short-term value
- Do not use the lingo of accountants to articulate social change
- Do not fall for the ROI excuse, which is often a red herring used by skeptics to “challenge the value of a program or seek a convenient way to reject it.”
Katie explains these 7 points more fully in a pdf available on the Paine Publishing website, or email Katie [kdpaine at painepublishing dot com] and ask for a copy. Definitely worth a visit, the site offers valuable resources on social and PR measurement that anyone involved in understanding communications impact should routinely visit.