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Kelly ONeal 4 min read

Measuring Social Media ROI: What Does it Really Mean?

Everyone has an opinion about social media and the value it adds to nonprofits. Your Executive Director wants you to have it, and how can you tell a funder you don’t have a social media presence. The Communication Director sees it as another medium to “reach the public." The energy and enthusiasm of cutting edge staff is infectious as they tell you about their tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts and goofy, cool videos they watch. No one is arguing the coolness of social media nor its ability to collect “friends," “followers," and “views," but how do you measure what this means in terms of meeting your organization’s mission?

Are you wondering if your organization is blinded by the glamour (aka shiny object syndrome)? Scarred if your not doing “it” you’ll miss an opportunity? But, does social media have the same value for all organizations? It's not just are you using social media but how? Are you using it to brand your organization or focus on campaigns? Do you have a strategic communications plan for your social media tactics? How are you dedicating staff and financial resources?

Return on investment (ROI) of social media is a hot topic for both the nonprofit and for profit world. An article in MarketingSherpa, “How Accurately Can You Gauge the ROI of Social Media Tactics? “ notes the “inability to measure ROI” was named by marketers as one of the most significant barriers to the adoption of social media tactics by their organization.” ClickZ.com has a great checklist to review as you make decisions to invest time and money such as:

  • Are we prepared to let go of control of our brand, at least a little?
  • What will we do to encourage participation?
  • How do we measure success? What constitutes failure?
  • What will we do less of if we're spending resources on social media?

Be sure and check out these great posts on the ROI for social media too.

 From Care2 staff:

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