December’s Manc Camp all about business ROI

December Manchester measurement camp revolved around how it is better to measure the business impact of a social media campaign than measure the media outputs i.e. Third party blog posts, unique visitors, click thrus etc. I know that’s stating the obvious a tad, but if we can focus on showing how social media helped the business or organisation, then it is more likely to be accepted as the effective marketing discipline it is by the powers that be.

However, we did realise that it is easier said than done. The hard bit is to separate out cause and effect of a marketing campaign. The simplest way to do that is to get hold of all the data you can and try and isolate the things that change and correlate them to a change in the business. For example, if you know that sales are tracking at 50 units a week; you introduce a social media campaign and sales increase to 70 units a week and nothing else changes significantly, then you can safely assume that the social media campaign caused the increase. It probably wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, but it is  damn sight better than saying ‘we’ve got 500 followers’. It is often difficult to get hold of such data, but it’s worth asking and definitely worth thinking about when planning a campaign.

The next thing we want to do is look at benchmarking and try to get some idea of what is good, bad or mediocre to expect from a campaign. Naturally, outcomes will vary dramatically and it is unlikely no one situation will ever be the same, but if we start sharing best practice and what success lok slike, then we will all have a better idea of how to forecast campaign outcomes.

New date for Manc Camp

There has been a slight change of plan for the next social media measurement camp, North. It will now be on Friday 18th December, at 4pm. Brazen will be the gracious hosts for the session.

The idea is for a few of us to come along with live or old briefs and for the group to try and come up with ways to:

  1. Forecast outcomes
  2. Measure the things that are important
  3. Evaluate impact and ROI

All are welcome. Just drop robin or katie a note to let us know: or

Hello from Measurement Camp North

Last week a group of individuals from a variety of different backgrounds gathered together at the offices of McCanns in Manchester to kick off the first social media measurement camp North.  The group is based on the highly successful Measurement Camp set up by Will McInnes and friends, sharing the aim of trying to thrash out the sticky business of formulating a more collective standard for measuring the ROI of social media enagagement activity.

Attendees came from a variety of different backgrounds including PR, SEO, content and digital development.

Where possible we tried to steer clear of chin rubbing and naval gazing and instead focus on specifics.  As an industry we will only convince clients of the value of social media engagement if we can be clearer about the ROI.

The following notes are a summary of the first meeting.  It’s intended to run this on a monthly basis and open it up to anyone in the digital industries in the North West.  There are a few loose rules around the group namely, it’s not a place for grand-standing or one-up-manship, no selling, any idea is a good one until proved otherwise, information is shared for the purpose of mutual benefit (and obviously don’t share material you’re not comfortable with sharing) and be nice.

The topics discussed and salient points were:

The best metrics to measure are ones with a business impact, such as sales. However, this is often difficult to measure and to attribute to a specific activity i.e. you can track sales from a particular website, bt you don’t know what other factors played a part e.g. reputational, offline offers or TV advertising.

Therefore to try and keep it simple, metrics, or KPIs can be split into off site and onsite:

·      Conversion

·      Uniques

·      Traffic

·      Visit length

·      Inbound links

·      Sentiment

·      Volume of conversation

·      Messages seen/delivered

·      Who is talking about you and how influential are they

·      Reach e.g. X blogs posted about your product, multiplied by the readership of those blogs.

·      SEO Page Rank

Some tools and techniques that people found useful:
–      comscore

–      Postrank

–      Google adsense test campaign to evaluate responsiveness of particular blogs

–      Using traffic from embedded YouTube videos to gauge readership of blogs

–      Word Of Mouth Marketing calculation to get comparative engagement levels:
av WOM conversation = 8 min
Av TV ad = 30 secs
Therefore equivalent engagement for WOM and social media conversations is readership x 16

–      Using AVEs for online media based on cost of ads online [multiple of 3]


Again, to try and simplify things, we can look at things to measure to prove ROI in two categories:

–      Page rank
–      Sales
–      Leads
–      Traffic
–      Conversion

Tends to be shortish term, sales-type ROI

–      messages delivered
–      volume of positive buzz
–      Level of engagement
–      Amount of influence garnered
–      Advocacy [Net Promoter Score]-

Tends to be medium to long term brand and marketing type ROI

The challenge is to have a way to compare equally the value both bring.


This is tough to do unless you have shedloads of case study information on which to base accurate assumptions and therefore predictions. Millard Brown Precise uses lots of case histories to predict sales from TV campaigns. Ideally, we need something similar for social media.

The industry could pool its case studies into one central database and share with subscribers to use for forecasting. This may take some time and effort to set up.

Alternatively, we could try and categorise impact by site i.e. conduct some econometric modelling on a selection of blogs and other social spaces to determine outcomes of conversations in those spaces. Then apply same model to similar blogs to predict an outcome.

Next time at Camp, we will be looking at a live/fictional case study and working out:
–      what we would measure
–      how we would forecast the results
–      how we would prove ROI to a client

Next Camp with be at Brazen PR, December 14 at 4pm, followed by Xmas-type drinks.  If you would like to come along please email katie {at} kmmedia dot co dot uk or robin dot wilson at europe dot mccann dot com.

Apologies for the most basic blog in the world, hey, it’s late, what can we say, we’ll prettify it for next time  (and sort out some way of people registering to attend)

With thanks to Robin Wilson and McCanns for hosting, Nina and colleagues from Brazen, Dan and Simon from PushOn, Martin Bryant from Visit Manchester.

Post by Katie Moffat

And D Sharon Pruitt for the lovely image