Are You Measuring Social Media Lifetime Sales ROI?

This is a guest post courtesy of Inner Architect CEO Susan Hanshaw:

LTV calc

In 1 Simple Ingredient for All Your ROI Needs, I discussed using a key code system to track the performance of individual social media efforts. While this practice is a great step towards tracking the sales performance of the social media channel, it is not enough if you truly want to learn how your social relationships are influencing sales in the long term.

What does it mean to measure impact on long term sales?

Think about it this way. Evaluating long term impact means there is going to be a starting point, a building up of history, and then a point where you measure what has happened since the starting point.

Starting point: Date of first sale

Building of history: Transactions made over a period of time

Measurement point: Recording cumulative sales that have occurred since the date of first sale

How do you apply this analysis to social media?

The goal here is to look at the buying history of the customers you have social relationships with versus those you don’t.  This requires that you:

  1. Identify which customers are Facebook fans and/or Twitter followers.
  2. Append this information to your customer database or marketing database for future reference.
  3. Segment your database into  groups based upon relationship.
  4. Further segment your groups into months or quarters based on first sale date.

In the example above, sales to Twitter followers is 14 points higher than average and 20 points higher than customers where there is no social relationship.  To fully load this analysis to get a total ROI, you would need to load in the costs associated with social media. I’ll save this discussion for a future post. Please leave a comment or email me if you have any questions in the meantime.