Measure Website Return on Investment (ROI)

While tuned into BFM’s Open for Business, one of the Pink Sage restaurant’s partner asked about the ROI for their website. The answers were lead only towards the website traffic and nobody corrected the question. Seated on my couch, I was thinking, shouldn’t they have explained the ROI for the website depends on what you’re aiming to measure in the first place?

screenshot of graph
Traffic schmaffic

ROI is not online traffic only

Today, I’ve noticed website traffic doesn’t necessarily bring you an investment. Yes, it brings you awareness but is that what you’re measuring in the first place?

It’s not even right to say website traffic will give you sales because social media is heading this right now. We eat at places friends have tried – Facebook. We eat at places our friends have checked out – Foursquare. We eat at places others have wrote about – blogs or media. So, only as a last resort, we visit the unknown.

picture of doors
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daviderwin/

Which ROI are you measuring?

Based on above, you can already tell there are many channels to measure your ROI. Hence, what is the ROI do you want to measure for your business?

If you haven’t heard, these were some ways ROI was measured for some platforms.

Facebook

Invited events to fans only or special promotions only attainable by your fans.

Foursquare

Check-in to get a free mud pie. Or, overthrow the current mayor and get a free beer.

Blogs and Twitter

Bloggers write everything from the environment, quality of food to how well your services is at the restaurant. Not to mention, bloggers who know the meaning of a food blogger would have really great photos and honest write-ups. Twitter is a great tool to find out instantly, how good of a service have you delivered to your customers. But it can also be your worst nightmare if overlooked.

Media Write-ups

I categorized this outside of blogs because there are media reviews which are paid, mostly. This awareness exercise still works among those who still read newspapers. However, I can’t say for its future in 5-10 years. Especially if the news continues to be repetitive and uninteresting.

goal post
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11962077@N04/

What is your ROI objective?

In the world of marketing and sales, I’d believe ROI is about:

  • Numbers (sales)
  • Popularity (awareness)

And now, emotions – social activity.

So before you start to ask what’s the expected ROI from your website, pause.

Ask yourself, what ROI do you want measured and achieved? ROI alone is a 3-letter word as vague and plentiful of opportunities.

Can You Really Outsource Management of Social Media Marketing?

Social media has fast become the big boy in Internet marketing. From what started as personal journals (blogs), to friend networks (friendster), and other social platforms is now deemed as; social media marketing – leveraging close relationships to communicate your brand and product benefits to others. In simpler words, word-of-mouth marketing – the electronic way.

Social media monitoring

spy vs spy from mad
Spying

Or, as a friend called it; spying, is when you want to track select words or phrases from the Web. Social media monitoring solutions are a Google way so I’m not going to mention names here. And agencies use these solutions to compile reports to brief you.

Now, for this task I can understand the need to outsource. Because not only will you have to compile reports but you’ve to understand what’s happening and how should you act upon it. Therefore, a social media consultant is preferred.

Social media management

picture of girlfriend cheating her boyfriend with his best friend
Uh oh

This is the part which I’m concerned about. Can an organization outsource the management of their social media interactions?

Working closely with David in Level5, he brought up a point which stuck to me ever since. It was how we preferred to train the marketing team to manage their own social media than to outsource it to us at Level5. And I believed it with good reason because:

  • How d’you expect us to answer your customer questions?
  • And if we couldn’t, how long will you take to give us an answer to give them?

Worst part I believe is when you outsource your social media, if the agency isn’t an existing user of your brand, the tone and passion communicating with your customers would be different.

Good copywriting can only maintain it’s invisibility to a certain degree. Like a person, you can only hide behind a mask for so long before your mistress realizes you’ve not left your wife for her.

So, why are organizations still looking to outsource their social media management? You tell me.