I read with interest, many blog posts that are all about how to determine the ROI of your social media marketing plan. There are some whiz bang solutions that cost a billion dollars, some that are less expensive and some that are free.
They all offer the same thing… “how to track and define social media metrics in order to determine the potential and real world ROI of your marketing programs as understood by”……….blah, blah, BULLSHIT.
Here is the real world ROI of your social media program:
If you have more asses in the seats when the first session starts your program worked.
There you go, I just saved you a bunch of money on that really expensive study you were thinking about doing.
Yes, it is that simple. You can determine the entire value of your social media program by that one, simple, definable, easy to understand number. You could even give it a dollar value because it is easy to come up with.
Now, there are other metrics that you should be measuring… how much interaction are you having, how many new “likes”, “retweets” or “checkins” are you getting but they ALL boil down to one hard fact.
If it does not lead to more butts in the seats then you have failed.
You are not in the “online social media engagement” business, you are in the “asses in the seats, in person, event engagement business” and while the two lines may cross and actually feed off of each other, they are distinctly different.
So, if you start a social media program for your conference or event, make sure that you understand that while it is an amazing thing to build a robust online community, if they do not show up at your event, your social media program is a total and complete, crash and burn nightmare.