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[Interview Series] What Does Social ROI Mean To You: Andy Karuza

At Simply Measured, we’re constantly working with businesses and agencies to help them measure, analyze, and improve their social media efforts.

One of the biggest challenges for anyone working in the social space is setting a standard for how you quantify Social ROI (Return on Investment). In some cases, Social ROI is a fluid concept. In others, it’s directly based on bottom line sales.

We’ve been interviewing industry leaders from the digital marketing space to find out how they quantify and measure Social ROI.

1870320639Andy Karuza is the founder and CEO of BrandBuddee, where he works to partner brands and consumers for social media campaigns, incentivising fans and followers to share stories about their favorite brands in exchange for rewards and promotional content.

Karuza is also a marketing consultant, contributor on, and owner of The Agency LLC.

I spent some time talking to Karuza recently about what Social ROI means at BrandBuddee, and what it means to him personally.

What is Social ROI? What does it mean to you?

Social media ROI to me may be different than what it may be to a client. As a social media consultant, I have to look at everything with a 360 degree view to understand how social media ROI is understood by my client, but also their superiors. For instance, some clients may value Facebook Likes, but their superiors may value sales or the opportunity for sales generated over a period of time. While Facebook likes are an okay metric, I know that there are several other things I need to provide to know that the client is getting true value out of social media and is successful in not only the short term, but the long-term. I understand the immediate gratification and even importance of short-term results, but I always build my client’s social media programs to have longevity. The real ROI is actually ROR (Return-on-relationship) which is the development of long-term brand advocacy or customer loyalty. 

What do you do at BrandBuddee – or encourage clients to do – to measure and analyze the ROI of social programs?

I encourage them to look at social media from more than one perspective or immediate sales. Social media is a great discovery tool and helps nurture relationships which leads to sales, but those are better reflected in the long-term. To truly measure social media, you need to realize good short-term metrics, alignment of an optimal long-term social media communication strategy, and sales over a period of time or through a special promotion. 
Analyzing short-term metrics, such as Facebook likes, will allow you to demonstrate progression and establish an understanding on how to optimize your strategy. If you can measure what works and what doesn’t using tools such as Simply Measured, you’ll be able to align a better long-term strategy for your organization. Not all businesses are equal; some more established brands are simply fighting for being top of mind within a customer’s consideration set, while a new business starting out is looking to develop close relationships with its first few customers. 
Find what you value as an organization and focus on the metrics that demonstrate progression to those goals.

What would make measuring Social ROI easier?

I believe a better direct correlation between marketing activities and the metrics generated is of extreme value to the brand. In many cases, businesses are simply operating blindly on social media and don’t really know what works, they just feel like they’re doing something right. On one end, you have tools like to drive social media ROI and metrics, but then you have Simply Measured have everything make sense and get the data you need to make better decisions with your social media strategy. Don’t be afraid to try something within reason on social media, see what works by measuring it, then toss out the bad and keep the good. 

What is the biggest challenge with Social ROI?

The biggest challenge most businesses have is generating a correlation between their marketing activities and what’s actually working. So you had an increase in followers. Why? Who are they? What do they want? Use the variety of tools you have at your disposal to answer these questions in order to get a better idea of what works. For instance, you may use Simplymeasured’s Google Analytics tool and discover that a blogger sent you a lot of traffic. After analyzing the keyword structure of these new followers, you may find that they’re all a certain type of person or business that found interest in you. What you do about this information is up to you, but always think like a problem solver and an opportunist. In marketing, consistency is key, but in many ways fortune favors the bold. 

How do you measure Social ROI? Follow @SimplyMeasured on Twitter or Like Us on Facebook to share your ideas with our community.

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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