How To Prescribe A Return On Investment In Facebook

Yes, you can measure return on investment in Facebook and from there optimize your news feed output.

How can you apply a systematic framework – PowerPoint is not a framework – that is as rigorous and defensible as the income statement your company provides Wall Street?

Well, if you’re a big brand selling shampoo or soft drinks, your metrics will be quite different than a retail chain selling pizzas.

The messaging for a plus sized women’s clothing brand will differ from a local fitness center; one creates acceptance while the other creates dissatisfaction.

The number of fans needed to make an impact for a global non-profit versus a local optometrist varies widely; the latter needs only a few visits a month.

Do you have that list of goals in mind for your business, which you apply to all of your marketing channels?

Okay, let’s get started with your self-diagnosis, which should take you about two-and-a-half hours to complete. You can speed things up by working on this with colleagues.

1. Build Your Overall Marketing Effectiveness Framework

This is not an information technology exercise or one that should require programming, unless you are handy with Excel and also enjoy dabbling with application programming interfaces.

List your metrics as columns — fans, interactions, and revenue, for example — and then list your marketing channels as rows.

Odds are you have part of the work already done for you in your web analytics.

But have you also included your earned media (what you get from Facebook, blogs, and social channels that you can’t put a tracking code on)?

And are you including your advertising campaigns, which are both online and offline?

Odds are that you have a number of holes in your spreadsheet.

Dennis Yu has helped brands grow and measure their Facebook presences. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Web 2.0, The American Marketing Association, PubCon, Conversational Commerce Conference, Pacific Conferences, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, UltraLight Startups, MIVA Merchant, and other venues. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Yu has held leadership positions at Yahoo and American Airlines. His educational background is finance and economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.

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