Last Friday, I wrote about the importance of asking “How did you hear about us?” as an integral part of tracking Return on Investment in networking and social media efforts.
Once you’ve got a system in place to ask the question, what do you do with it?
You need a way to keep track of the results. It doesn’t need to be complicated, although the larger your business and the more clients/customers you have, the more automated the system needs to be. A simple spreadsheet or database will be sufficient for most businesses. You need to track the following:
Closed business (or not)
Date of Referral
From that basic data, you can do a lot of analysis.
Is there a particular source who refers you the most? You might want to reward that source in some way.
Is there are source which should be referring you more that isn’t? Some tweaks might be in order.
Don’t forget the chain of referrals. Let’s say you’re in a Chamber of Commerce. Chamber member Joe refers you to Bob, who then refers you to six other people. When your Chamber membership is up for renewal, you might only remember that referral from Joe and decide the Chamber isn’t worth it. But with a good tracking system in place, you remember that referral from Joe to Bob and realize that indirectly your membership has been very beneficial.
You can do the same with social media. Run a Twitter special and track the results against a slightly different Facebook special. Switch the special and see if it’s the channel or the special. With the dialogue available in social media, you can prime the pump for your promotion by asking for ideas or doing a survey (Which special do you like better? This one or that one.) Track the discussion around the idea, run the special and then track the results.
ROI in networking and social media is (relatively) simple. Have a system for tracking where your referrals come from and analyze the data to see what’s working and what isn’t. Adjust as needed.
Stay tuned for an upcoming guest post from @CadenceMarket on tracking ROI from other forms of marketing. I’m looking forward to that!