By Alex Altman
With few exceptions, any time a business spends money, it expects to see a return on investment. Unfortunately, proving ROI can be difficult in the public relations industry, which deals less in data points and more in human emotion.
While marketers demonstrate ROI through clicks, impressions and conversions, PR professionals have to get a little crafty to show how their social campaign is affecting their client’s bottom line. Luckily, there are several bulletproof ways to validate your efforts. Here are five effective tips to show your clients that their social dollars are well spent.
Calls to Action: The best way to highlight the value of your PR campaign? Show how it generated new leads. One simple way to do this is by providing clickable calls-to-action in your press releases that drive users to visit your website and/or contact your client directly. Every click counts as a new business opportunity that you created.
Social Fans: At the start of your campaign, log the number of followers your client has on each of its social channels. As the campaign ramps up, ideally you will see a spike in followers, social chatter and other data that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. can help you aggregate. If the results break your way, it reflects well on your campaign.
Social Sharing: You can spend hours, even days, fine-tuning your press release, but what’s the point if you’re sending it straight into a void? Social media has reinvented the distribution model of the modern press release, and there are several tools that can help you not only disseminate the release, but also measure its reach and impact.
Website Traffic: In addition to social media engagement, a surge in awareness should precipitate additional website traffic. Google Analytics gauges your website traffic over the course of your campaign, which you can stack up against pre-campaign figures to measure your results. With Google Analytics, you can also pull up key demographic information and other data to get a more comprehensive sense of your campaign results.
Brand Mentions: A strong PR campaign will increase the number of times your brand is mentioned in social media and in the blogosphere. There are various tools that can help you measure this data. One of the best tools is Social Mention, a free service that analyzes how often your client is being mentioned, and whether the sentiment of those mentions is generally positive or negative.