No patience for the ROI of Social Media discussion

No patience for the ROI of Social Media discussion

Loading … Loading …

By paul on June 30, 2009

In a blog post last week, Dell revealed that it has generated more than $2 million in revenue from @DellOutlet, one of its many Twitter sites. Late last year, there were some headlines about Dell crossing the $1 million mark via Twitter and it’s only gotten bigger since then.

How did they do it? With a coupon code!

Wow, now that’s inventive. But this is not a dig at Dell it’s a dig at all of us marketers who say they don’t understand how to calculate an ROI from Social Media. My point is Dell isn’t using any secret sauce – its just plain old common sense. And at this point in social media or even in the development of the web – we have plenty of ways to track and measure lead generation coming from Social Media. So much so that I have lost all patience for this discussion.

In a blog post a few weeks ago called – Why is measuring Lead Gen in Social Media so hard? – I detailed a few ways that companies used to track lead generation such as: a unique 800 number in their white papers or a unique hotlink or email address embedded in their white papers. These would be only accessible via the various social media outposts they use to share their story like on RSS, syndicated Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. Same goes for Video or Podcasts – have a strong call to action and send them to a unique URL. Don’t have a call to action try sharing it with a service like – a unique service that shortens your URL’s and then provides unique tracking of them.

If that’s not enough try flipping the equation around and using Google Analytics to find out how much traffic was driven to your website from services like Twitter, blogs you syndicate to etc … If your tracking system isn’t robust enough to do that then remember back in the early days of Pay Per Click advertising when we used to create separate pages (I called them Ghost Pages) to track the traffic and conversions of each keyword. So for example if you had purchased a keyword such as: VoIP, I would set up a landing page on the website for that, a unique page for Google clicks, a unique page for Yahoo clicks and a unique page for AOL clicks (remember when we used to buy keywords there – sorry Tim Armstrong).

My point is back in the early days of the web marketers found ways to measure and track lead gen with a lot less sophisticated tools then we have now. True the number of channels have blossomed but that shouldn’t have changed our creativity when it comes to measuring the ROI of Social Media!