Business owners think in terms of return on investment (ROI), however many are still stumped on how to measure the ROI of their public relations strategies. Measuring ROI for either social media or public relations involves affixed metrics as a way to show the value that social media can bring to a company’s marketing efforts, as well as how it fits into the overall budget.
One of the main issues with making an attempt to measure your public relation’s campaign ROI is that you’re making an attempt to assess numeric values based on human interactions and online conversations – items that are not wholly quantifiable.
How to Measure ROI in PR
There are some ways that managers can use as a metric for measuring whether your public relation campaign efforts are paying off:
- Website and blog analytics and rankings on Google. Measure the results before you implement your public relations strategy and track it weekly thereafter.
- Affix a visitor counter to your website. This is not an accurate measure but will offer some numbers for comparison.
- Track the numbers of followers to various social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- How many subscribers do you have to your blog/newsletter? Track these changes as the public relations strategy is implemented and throughout.
- Are you receiving comments on blog posts and social media page status updates? Were you receiving comments before? Has the number of comments risen? Are they relevant?
- Is your information being re-tweeted or are you getting “mentions” on other social media sites? This is a good indication that your public relations efforts are effective.
- Affix ROI to specific goals. Are you looking to increase your overall company sales? If so, make certain you have a way to track and capture these results. Remember though, public relations can influence sales but might not lead to direct sales. Always ask new clients how they heard about you; track their answers and implement a tracking process (clickable links) as a way to measure from which websites, blogs or social media outlets your prospects are finding you.
Implementing Public Relations Strategies
Implementing public relations strategy takes commitment, resources and time. Unless you’re Charlie Sheen, chances are your company will not build followers that number into the thousands in a short amount of time. With public relations, slow and steady wins the race.
As with any type of marketing plan you need to have a set of goals in mind and baselines from which to measure success – or failure – of a new marketing strategy. Additionally, before you set out on the path of putting a public relations plan into play, you need to know what your ultimate goal is. Do you want to increase your followers on Twitter, Likes on Facebook, mentions that your company receives in other social media platforms, blog reposts, press release mentions? Or do you simply want to increase your general brand awareness and customers? Once you know what outcome you want to achieve, you can set out to achieve it.