Proving the ROI of Customer Engagement Across the Business

Khoros compiled tips from the following experts from a session at Khoros Engage.

Jake Swenson — VP of Product Marketing, Khoros
Nicole Johnson
— Vice President, Social Media, Synchrony
Kosta Triantafillou
— Senior Director of Product Marketing, SAP

How to Prove the ROI of Customer Engagement

It isn’t always simple to draw a direct line from what happens between a brand and their customers on social media and the impact on the brand’s net income. In fact, just 17% of marketing agencies say that they can provide an accurate read on social ROI. But even if determining the ROI of engaging customers on social media is complicated, it isn’t impossible. There’s a lot of value in understanding where and how your brand’s social program is excelling and where it might be lagging.

You know your team’s social media activities add brand value, and these eight tips from experts at Khoros Engage will help you demonstrate that value to the rest of the organization:

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1. Demonstrate the momentum of brand awareness

Keep ahead of changing social platform algorithms by focusing less on engagement metrics and more on how well your audience understands your brand. Ask: Do more people understand who you are and what you do this quarter than they did last quarter? Has there been an increase in positive sentiment when people talk about your brand? Does it take your brand less time to acquire new business than it used to? Positive answers are all signs of increased brand awareness.

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2. Forget about vanity metrics and focus on effectively communicating brand values

The number of followers your brand has and the number of impressions your brand makes on social both matter less than ensuring that your brand’s content effectively explains who you are. Brand lift studies and surveys verifying that your content effectively reflects your brand’s values demonstrate the importance of your customer engagement efforts better than follower counts.

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3. Rethink what value means to your brand

There’s no getting around the need for revenue, but there is more than one way to measure value. Measure customer engagement with survey analyses and your brand’s NPS (Net Promoter Score) to gain a wider view of ROI. Look at value in the aggregate sense: Are your customer engagement efforts driving the top of the funnel? Are they driving awareness? Are they driving a positive association with the brand? All of these are valuable.

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4. Turn negatives into positives

Negative sentiment from NPS and social media comments can, perhaps surprisingly, help prove the value of your brand’s social customer engagement efforts — by demonstrating how your brand is perceived in the world. Even if it’s uncomfortable to look at, there’s value to be had in that information, especially if you are able to effectively address the negative feedback and make changes that benefit your customers.

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5. Work as a team

When your internal stakeholders are in agreement about the value of customer experience, you can have a negotiated and understood set of performance criteria across teams including marketing, sales, service, customer success, and customer care. Your brand can effectively measure and report on whether or not each internal team is holding up their end of the deal and whether or not you’re losing customers, which in turn demonstrates the value of your customer engagement efforts.

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6. Leave silos in the past

Find common ground about what’s important to your brand as a whole, rather than each individual team, and work toward those goals together. Figure out KPI’s around these common goals and ensure each team understands how they need to drive those KPIs.

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7. Measure the acquisition handoff

Demonstrating a direct line of purchase that begins with social customer engagement might be difficult, but demonstrating how your brand’s social efforts speed up the acquisition funnel is possible. You can measure if a customer follows your brand from social to your landing site, if they spend more time on your website, and if their journey is more efficient or less expensive. When your customer engagement efforts decrease the acquisition journey, that’s clear ROI.

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8. Engage with more than just the potential buyer

In the B2B customer engagement world, you might find that your brand communicates more often with potential product or service users than with potential buyers, but those user engagements are still helping your bottom line, and measuring them can demonstrate the value of your customer engagement efforts. There are approximately seven people your brand needs to engage with before a B2B purchase decision will be made, so each contact matters.

About Khoros Engage

Khoros Engage brings together digital customer engagement leaders. Attendees hear from thought leaders inspiring them to bring their business to the next level, gain insights from brands and industry leaders on digitlcare, community, and marketing topics, and build a network of other digital leaders.

Want to learn more about proving engagement ROI?
Watch our recorded webinar: Digital Marketing Metrics That Matter.