I recorded an interesting webinar the other day with SugarCRM co-founder Clint Oram, and a question came up asking “How do you measure your social CRM or social media interactions in terms of metrics?”
It is a good question, really.
Clint offered some sensible insight – pointing out that in their barest sense, all too much of the social interactions we are having (on Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn etc.) are not being tracked at all. Being able to house these interactions in a CRM system, and report on them – is a huge jump in terms of visibility and measurability.
Now, it is not a piece of cake to track every social media interaction back to a sale – but by seeing the level of engagement in the Twitterverse and blogosphere etc. around your brand (and how it is growing), you can gain more insight into how much word-of-mouth stuff is going on. Again, a lot of this measurement may not track back to hard numbers like top line sales increases, but it is good to get a nice gauge into how your brand is fairing in terms of penetrating all of these new channels.
Marketing itself, even when tracked closely in a CRM system, is an inexact science at best. And we have yet to tack on really solid science to all of the marketing arts that come with these new interaction channels.
I think the key here is to realize that the more interactions and channels you are capturing in an overarching CRM initiative, the better. While we may not be able to immediately translate these numbers into definitive ROI just yet, I gather that if you start collecting this data now – you’ll be very glad you did in the near future when more established metrics and KPIs start popping up.