Measuring the Value of a Connection
Ultimately all marketers need to justify their marketing budgets by proving the return that their efforts have provided to their brand. Since few marketers are tasked with simply increasing the number of connections a brand has made, the challenge comes in quantifying the impact on goal achievement.
Adding the following components to your analytics strategy can help you quantify that return in an actionable way:
Actionable insight must be specific, so utilize your analytics package to take you beyond aggregated data. Your resources and tools will define how granular you can be, but at a minimum you should look at the behaviors of users from each channel independently.
For those marketers with a sophisticated analytics deployment, correlating connections with goal achievement may be a simple task; for others, data from various locations may require some good old-fashioned statistical analysis. Charting your data can help to identify correlations that may not be initially obvious.
You may initially lack the data to make direct correlations. In these instances, implementing a testing strategy can help you close the loop. Where possible, limit the scope of your test to a specific channel, a defined geographical area, or limited timeframe as this will help cut down the number of variables to consider in your analysis.
You should also resist using aggregated statistics in your measurements. If you read the article in Adweek announcing that a social media fan is worth $3.60, it might be tempting to use this statistic in your analysis. Without application to your specific brand and goals, this approach holds little, if any, actionable insight for your marketing efforts.