There’s no standard ROI model that works across Social campaigns. Partly because objectives vary and partly because there’s usually more going on than just Social, and isolating the Social activity (and linking it to sales) isn’t easy.
When measurement is tied to sales… it’s best to use a promotion or something that makes the activity measureable in social channels. The RoI is based on money spent vs. promotional participation/purchases.
When RoI is tied to Media Value, we can compare reach numbers, which we get from the insights section of Facebook vs. standard media prices. In these cases we say… We got X amount of media for Y price, therefore saved Z.
When RoI is tied to awareness. We need to benchmark what the current level of awareness is. There are usually costs associated with benchmarking studies, which is one reason why we haven’t done awareness based RoI.
When RoI is tied to engagement. We look at clicks, likes, comments, posts reactions and anything else we can measure. Engagement is the easiest thing to measure in the Social space, but assigning it a value is where it gets tricky. We usually tell our clients how much engagement they got for a particular social communication and that is usually enough. Ideally, we should be assigning the engagement a value in order to input that value into an RoI model, but it’s difficult to predict engagement before launching a piece of comms without guessing.
The RoI question is the holy grail of Social. A question we can only ask if we’re sure of our objectives.