Social Media ROI
A common question we have been fielding in recent meetings with nonprofits regarding social media has been pretty simple, but also extremely important. What they want to know, is so what?
These are organizations that recognize the value in communicating in these mediums, which are so similar to many nonprofits out there in that they are limited in their resources, staff time, and money. They want to do better in this space, but can’t figure out what is preventing them from creating communities on these platforms, despite hearing how successful other nonprofits are in social media. So what is to be done? And what is the value to them of of being more successful in social media? Social media value has been tagged with the hard to define term “social media ROI” – that is, what is the specific return on investment that nonprofits see by using social media. While there are many metrics that can be tracked (likes, re-tweets, shares, etc.), it can be difficult to put a dollar amount to the value of these social media interactions.
In one of the best white papers we’ve seen on social media ROI, “Can You Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing“ by Donna Hoffman and Marek Fodor, explores how social media metrics are really based off of the needs of the constituent, not the needs of the nonprofit. They contend that “social media investments will not always be measured in dollars, but also in customer behaviour…” To put it simply – instead of calculating success based on friend numbers and the amount of money it costs to run these services, social media value should be calculated on building relationships. These relationships can be used as you’re showing how social media is improving your nonprofits community awareness and word-of-mouth recommendations.
How valuable is social media to a small nonprofit? To be honest, it depends. Strategy focusing on the right outcomes and objectives can make social media incredibly valuable and a tool that all nonprofits, regardless of size, would be remiss to ignore. And these outcomes need to be based, to some degree, on developing and maintaining relationships.
We at Social Change Consulting are committed to smaller nonprofits in creating these strategies and finding value in social media because we can’t wait to see where these new relationships can take their cause.