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The ROI of Social Media: Still a Lack of Measurement

by Jenny Sussin  |  November 23, 2015  |  2 Comments

Guys, seriously?

I’ve been conducting a lot of reference checks of late, searching through the case studies of vendors in the space, and talking to Gartner clients about what it is they’re measuring when it comes to social media and continue to find that the majority of companies are STILL not measuring anything that shows business impact.


The #mondaymorningselfie of mine which most accurately represents how I feel about all of this.

Five years ago, everyone in the space had a pass – the tools were not there to help us get this stuff done – but now, come on!


Listen, we all have lazy moments…(not an endorsement for Remo’s.)

Now saying, “it’s difficult to tell” is just an excuse. It’s an excuse not to put in the time to work across your organization to gain access to the data you need to determine whether or not your social media efforts have had an impact on the business. I say all of this knowing that while it is hard to work across an organization to get the data you need, it is not impossible because there are companies who have done it.


$40 worth of aluminum foil proves that nothing is impossible.

What should you be measuring?

Gartner clients can access our research Choose Social Metrics That Demonstrate CRM Business Value, but for everyone else there are a few things that every metric comes back to:

  • Revenue generating opportunity
  • Cost reduction
  • Risk reduction
  • Relative activity* (*This one still needs to be tied to a business objective.)

Who is doing this well?

Every year, we publish a piece of research called, “Top Use Cases and Benefits of Social for CRM in 201X” which gives examples of companies who have demonstrated a ROI from their social media efforts. While I work to refresh the document for 2016, here are some examples from 2015’s document:

  • The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas works with Hootsuite, Media Leaders and Google Analytics to measure the success of its social media campaigns by tracking room bookings back to individual social media posts. In the course of one month, it attributed $903 of revenue back to a single Facebook post; exceeded its campaign revenue goals by 67%, earning more than $5,000 from social media-driven bookings; and exceeded its room rate reservation goal by 47%. (Source)
  • PayPal Australia uses LinkedIn’s enterprise solution, Sales Navigator, to help its Field Sales team identify and engage leads on LinkedIn. Rather than acquiring leads through heftier data sources, PayPal’s team has been able to quickly identify the right contact at a prospect organization with just a company name. The head of field sales at PayPal Australia estimates that the company’s $10,000 investment in LinkedIn Sales Navigator brought in at least $300,000 in new business during its first year and reduced sales cycle times by an average of 25%. (Source)
  • Kia Motors in the U.K. employed ratings and reviews on its site to increase credibility via the impartiality of a third party. Using Reevoo’s managed product ratings and reviews, the company saw the booking of test drives increase by 300% when reviews were read, as well as a 280% increase in the average time spent on the company’s site. (Source)

The example companies and technology vendors cited are just a sampling of work that has been done across industries, across providers and across use cases. The point is to show that whether you’re B2C or B2B, whether you’re in the US or Australia, it is possible to put your social media efforts into terms which reflect business impact.

I welcome any stories of success from folks managing social media within their organization, or providers who have stories along these lines.

Remember Rule 76.


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Category: roi  social-crm  social-media  

Tags: crm  measure  measurement  metrics  roi  socbiz  social  social-crm  social-media  socialcrm  

Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio

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