Social media measurement is one of those topics about which everyone has an opinion, but nobody agrees on the solution. The question about how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for social media participation comes up in every project we undertake at Cloud9 Media.

If you have a mass media approach to communications measurement, you are bound to have a tough time understanding social media. While media such as television, print reaches millions in one shot; social media has a slow burner effect and is much more effective. Measurement however is critical as it helps you plan and shape your campaigns betters. It is essential to look at both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of measurement. Here is how you can measure your social media ROI better:


First, determine what you want to measure, whether it’s corporate reputation, conversations or customer relationships. These objectives require a more qualitative measurement approach, so let’s start by asking some questions. For example, if the objective is measure ROI for conversations, we start by benchmarking ourselves with questions like:

– Are we currently part of conversations about our product/industry?

– How are we currently talked about versus our competitors?

Then to measure success, we ask whether we were able to:

– Build better relationships with our key audiences?

– Participate in conversations where we hadn’t previously had a voice?

– Move from a running monologue to a meaningful dialogue with customers?

There are companies that offer services to assist with this kind of measurement, which requires a great deal of human analysis on top of the automated results to appropriately assess the tonality and brand positioning across various social media platforms.


If the goal is to measure traffic, sales or SEO ranking, we can take a more quantitative approach. There are some free tools that can help with this type of measurement, including:

AideRSS allows you to enter a feed URL and returns statistics about its posts, including which are the most popular based on how many times they are shared on a variety of social networking sites (Google, Digg,

Google Analytics and Feedburner are essential, free tools to help analyze your company’s blog traffic, subscriber count, keyword optimization and additional trends.

Xinu is a handy website where you can type in a URL and receive a load of useful statistics ranging from search engine optimization (SEO) to social bookmarking and more.

In addition, you might look at how many people join your social network (or become your connection) in a given period of time, how much activity there is in your forum or what the click-through rate is to your product pages from any of these platforms that result in direct sales.

Source : Mashable