10 Ways to Measure Your Event (ROI) with Social Media

March 25, 2009   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: event planning 2.0

If your clients are obsessed with measurement and ROI when it comes to integrating Social Media into their event, here is how you can get rid of most of the criticism and secure your next success.

measure_events

This post is inspired by MeasurementCamp, a great event in London where new media peeps discuss solutions for real case studies.

As always, two recommendations:

- Don’t be impulsive. You could cause harm to your business. Try to understand new media and communities first, then implement.
- Choose well what you implement and don’t follow the buzz. Make sure your chosen medium is relevant to your target.

Let’s give it a go:

10. What’s your objective?

Boring, we know. But relevant, especially to your client. If you don’t set clear objectives, what are you gonna measure the event against?

- Awareness?
- PR Echo?
- Attendance?
- Satisfaction levels?
- Community reactions?

9. When are you gonna measure reactions?

In line with the above, it is good practice to divide your Social Media measurement plan in 3 stages:

- Pre-event. This usually collides with event promotion and it is easy to measure as it is reflected by attendance turnout.
- In-event. In this stage you should focus on feedback about the event. Remember that technology allows to collect feedback live and you should take advantage of that.
- Post-event: Usually satisfaction and PR, as well as community reactions are what you should be looking at.

8. Powerful tags

Tags are becoming the best way to categorize whatever activity online. Attendees now understand what a tag is and organize their online communication using them. Powerful tags have a catchy message within it and are not too long.

#Eventname could be not easy to share and not particularly engaging. Try to elaborate on your event name and link it to a powerful message. See #KissTheCup for the Fifa World Cup Trophy Final (Facebook Link)

7. Unified tags

If you worked out a powerful tag that is easy to share and has “embedded” promotion, there is no reason why you should think about another one. Make sure you use the same tag on different platforms as fragmentation makes measurement quite tough.

6. Tell people about your tag

Now that you have such a beautiful, effective and catchy tag, you should tell your guests about it. And you should do it vigorously. Every little tweet, blog post, picture or video about your event counts. If you don’t make that clear with your audience upfront, you may be missing out on repeated business.

5. Give online spaces to monitor conversations

If you are chasing blog posts all over the place or if you are trying to understand whether that twitter user was talking about your event, it may be the case for you to set up an ad-hoc community. Most of the services out there aggregate conversations using tags but they also fetch online profiles given at registration for relevant content, so…

4. Ask your attendees for their online profiles

We’ve seen great implementations of registration services that do this automatically. You can achieve the same results with a bit of more effort, that includes designing powerful registration forms. And also remember that once you have collected such precious data about your guests, you need to…

3. Invite them to the groups you created on different platforms

Social Networks are very powerful for promotion. Most of the events now use services such as Linkedin, Facebook, Xing, twitter, Upcoming, Eventful, Upcoming and Meetup to promote the event. When your guests sign up, make sure you let them know about the groups you decided to set up. By doing that you’ll be able to attract peers and measure influence of attendees.

2. Understand what to report

Track the relevance of conversations happening in the online world. How many comments did a blog post about the event got, how many retweets had a particular update. Allocate weight to different aspects and match the relevance with your objectives. Only then organize results in a report.

1. Be Proactive

Approaching measurement in a passive way, could lead you to quantitative results which may not contribute towards achieving set objectives. The most substantial revolution of Social Media is the ability to interact with your guests. Don’t be afraid to jump into conversations and ask clarifications.

Try to understand why a blogger loved or hated your event, comment on the post. Engage with the twitter user who was enthusiastic about the event. By doing so you will surely amplify the positive result, but will also display that you care if something went wrong.

Now time to share. Tell your friends and colleagues if this article added a tiny bit of value.

  • JeffHurt

    If you accomplish a goal using social media and achieve a positive return, in my opinion, that’s a success. If you do not achieve what you set out to do, or it costs you more in productivity and resources than the benefit, it is a failure. Generally, social media tools are free so the only investment is mindshare and the time spent using the tools.

    Here’s an interesting way to measure social media ROI. Let’s assume we start by creating a viral event marketing video with our own flip camera. We upload the video to YouTube, embed it on our website, Facebook and Linkedin pages, and post it in our event eCommunity. If I own a meetings/event company with 10 employees and each employee averages 300 meetings/event electronic contacts, that means we have 3,000 possible connections. So we chose to send that video to all of our connections and we’ve got a good start on creating a viral campaign. Your tech savvy employees can potentially “network” online faster and better than a group that is not good with social media, and they probably have more electronic connections.

    We can then measure the success or failure of that video by setting up a system of analytics to track how social media can create actions. If you don’t have an analytics system in place to monitor the traffic to your event website or blog, you can use Google Analytics. YouTube and SlideShare track the number of views already so you can use those numbers too.

    In the above example, I want to track the number of times my event marketing video is viewed. I can expect that some people will send it through email so the viewing number may actually be higher. We can send a tweet in Twitter with the link to the video or event web page and measure how many people go to the page the day before and the day after the tweet was sent. We can also see if there are any spikes in registrations or communications with the event organizers. Now our total investment was several minutes over the past several months creating our connections, creating the video, posting it to appropriate sites and then measuring our success or failure.

    This process can be repeated several times a day with links to new content on blogs, your event page or within your eCommunity. Then you can measure the ROI of your event social media.

    Thanks Julius for this post and getting us thinking in this direction.

  • http://jeffhurtblog.com Anonymous

    Excellent post on how to measure event ROI/success for meeting/event organizers. I think it has application to all business actually.

    If you accomplish a goal using social media and achieve a positive return, in my opinion, that’s a success. If you do not achieve what you set out to do, or it costs you more in productivity and resources than the benefit, it is a failure. Generally, social media tools are free so the only investment is mindshare and the time spent using the tools.

    Here’s an interesting way to measure social media ROI and take Julius’ steps deeper. Let’s assume we start by creating a viral event marketing video with our own flip camera. We upload the video to YouTube, embed it on our website, Facebook and Linkedin pages, and post it in our event eCommunity. If I own a meetings/event company with 10 employees and each employee averages 300 meetings/event electronic contacts, that means we have 3,000 possible connections. So we chose to send that video and its event tags as Julius recommends to all of our connections and we’ve got a good start on creating a viral campaign. Your tech savvy employees can potentially “network” online faster and better than a group that is not good with social media, and they probably have more electronic connections.

    We can then measure the success or failure of that video by setting up a system of analytics to track how social media can create actions. If you don’t have an analytics system in place to monitor the traffic to your event website or blog, you can use Google Analytics. YouTube and SlideShare track the number of views already so you can use those numbers too.

    In the above example, I want to track the number of times my event marketing video is viewed. I can expect that some people will send it through email so the viewing number may actually be higher. We can send a tweet in Twitter with the link to the video or event web page along with the event tag and measure how many people go to the page the day before and the day after the tweet was sent. We can also see if there are any spikes in registrations or communications with the event organizers. Now our total investment was several minutes over the past several months creating our connections, creating the video, posting it to appropriate sites and then measuring our success or failure.

    This process can be repeated several times a day with links to new content on blogs, your event page or within your eCommunity. Then you can measure the ROI of those new social media tools. Thanks Julius for getting us thinking in this direction.

  • http://jeffhurtblog.com Anonymous

    If you accomplish a goal using social media and achieve a positive return, in my opinion, that’s a success. If you do not achieve what you set out to do, or it costs you more in productivity and resources than the benefit, it is a failure. Generally, social media tools are free so the only investment is mindshare and the time spent using the tools.

    Here’s an interesting way to measure social media ROI. Let’s assume we start by creating a viral event marketing video with our own flip camera. We upload the video to YouTube, embed it on our website, Facebook and Linkedin pages, and post it in our event eCommunity. If I own a meetings/event company with 10 employees and each employee averages 300 meetings/event electronic contacts, that means we have 3,000 possible connections. So we chose to send that video to all of our connections and we’ve got a good start on creating a viral campaign. Your tech savvy employees can potentially “network” online faster and better than a group that is not good with social media, and they probably have more electronic connections.

    We can then measure the success or failure of that video by setting up a system of analytics to track how social media can create actions. If you don’t have an analytics system in place to monitor the traffic to your event website or blog, you can use Google Analytics. YouTube and SlideShare track the number of views already so you can use those numbers too.

    In the above example, I want to track the number of times my event marketing video is viewed. I can expect that some people will send it through email so the viewing number may actually be higher. We can send a tweet in Twitter with the link to the video or event web page and measure how many people go to the page the day before and the day after the tweet was sent. We can also see if there are any spikes in registrations or communications with the event organizers. Now our total investment was several minutes over the past several months creating our connections, creating the video, posting it to appropriate sites and then measuring our success or failure.

    This process can be repeated several times a day with links to new content on blogs, your event page or within your eCommunity. Then you can measure the success of failure of your event social media. Thanks Julius for getting us thinking in this direction!

  • http://www.kdpaine.com Katie Paine

    Great post, I just blogged about it! kdpaine.blogs.com

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com tojulius

    Thanks Katie!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com tojulius

    What a great contribution Jeff.

    Thanks

    Julius

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  • http://www.sustainableav.com Midori Connolly

    Julius (or others), do you know of any events in the US comparable to Measurement Camp? Sounds fantastic!!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com tojulius

    I am sure there are and there would be.

    Otherwise it's a good opportunity to start one.

    Check http://barcamp.org

  • Elizabeth

    We recently learned how well social media can work for advertising in my Message Development class at KU. I never really thought about looking for feedback and ROI for events I have planned. Thanks for all of the good tips, very helpful.

  • http://cjlambertlive.blogspot.com courtney lambert |@cjlambert

    Nice post and pleased that your thoughts are wider than straight commercial ROI , ie community outcomes. thanks!

  • http://cjlambertlive.blogspot.com courtney lambert |@cjlambert

    Nice post and pleased that your thoughts are wider than straight commercial ROI , ie community outcomes. thanks!

  • Heather

    I never thought of using social media to measure the ROI on events. And it makes sense to do so because more and more companies are using social networking Web sites to promote themselves and their events. This summer I am working at a hotel under the event coordinator and I am going to suggest this to her.

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  • keshot

    Very impressive guidelines or ways! I agree to all your statements. The intention of having event ROI is one of the objectives as well of Keshot.com. Why not tap their expertise and and learn more from them.

  • caradixon

    Great overview of how to measure your events ROI! Really useful! Definitely tips that i will bear in mind in the future! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.juliussolaris.com tojulius

    Glad you liked it!