Value of a Like in Social Media – The ability to measure and take action is at the heart of the modern Digital enabled marketing plan.While some metrics are relatively straight forward to measure others in the social media sphere are often a bit more “fluffy” and consequently ROI can be harder to determine. That’s why I was delighted to see in a recent article in Harvard Business Review (HBR) that Dan Zarella from Hubspot penned a piece where he outlined his methodology for measuring the True Value of a Like in Social Media.He called it the VOAL formula.
Effective marketers expect to see clear cut, positive ROI for every other channel of on line marketing including email, search, and display advertising. But for some reason, many seem to forget about return when it comes to channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s what the VOAL formula looks like:
L (Total Likes): The total number of audience members connected to your social media account. On Facebook, these are Likes of your page, and on Twitter, these are followers.
UpM (Unlikes-per-Month): The average number of fans who “unlike” your social network account each month. On Facebook, this is an “unlike,” and on Twitter, this is an “unfollow.”
LpD (Links-per-Day): The average number of times you’re posting links, and potentially converting links driven from your social media account. On Facebook, this is the number of posts you’re making, per day, that lead to a page on your website. On Twitter, this is the number of times, per day, you’re Tweeting these kinds of links.
C (Average Clicks): The average number of clicks on the links to your site you’re posting on your social media accounts.
CR (Conversion Rate): The average conversion rate of your website, from visit to sale or visit to lead. This can be an overall average, but for increased accuracy, use the conversion rate measured from traffic coming from the social network you’re calculating.
ACV (Average Conversion Value): The average value of each “conversion.” In this context, a “conversion” is the action you’ve used to measure CR for. It could be average sale price or average lead value. For increased accuracy, use the average conversion value of traffic coming from the specific social network.
It is generally straightforward for any marketer with decent analytics software (Google analytics) to track the traffic from social networks and assign lead or customer acquisition values. It becomes more difficult when we want to understand how much time or money we should feel comfortable spending to build our reach.
This is what this formula attempts to do. Already there is a healthy on line debate about the merits of this formula and whether it has true intrinsic value. At least the author had the strength of conviction to put it out there for public debate and scrutiny.
Social media needs to be measured and it about much more than “engaging in conversation” or “being awesome”. Why don’ you check out the article on HBR and make your own mind up.