How Ford, Comcast and Dell Measure Social Media ROI

PR-Squared blogger Todd Defren wrote a two-part series this week discussing how different companies measure Social Media ROI. In his first post, Defren asks the question: how many tweets does it take to impress the CEO? While social media professionals shouldn’t disregard their company’s Klout score or the number of times one of their messages was re-tweeted, they must understand that the C-suite executives don’t necessarily value the importance of those kinds of things just yet.

Getting a tweet from Ashton Kutcher (who at the time of this post has 8,040,731 followers on Twitter) is great and all, but what is the value of such a tweet? How many conversations does it start? How many people clicked over to your company’s page? How many felt  it was important enough to share with their friends and families? Those are the kinds of things that CEOs want to know, and measuring social media comes in many varieties.

In the second installment of these posts, Defren was able to chat with head executives at Ford, Comcast, and Dell, in order to determine how these companies talk about social media ROI internally. He found Ford uses social media to gauge the public’s sentiment in regard to brand perception. Over at Comcast, the ROI was measured with customer satisfaction, with results like a “13% gain in customer satisfaction in the past year.” Finally, Dell (which I discussed in my last post) talks about social media return on investment in terms of customer loyalty. Defren collected some visuals from the companies (featured image of this post) and included them in his blog post, which is linked above.

In the end, how a company measures social media is entirely dependent on the overall goals of each respective business. Ford wants people to include its vehicles in their brand recall, so they use social media to keep customers informed on new cars and then gauge their response. They want to be quick to address any negative comments that may affect overall brand image and the public perception.

Comcast uses social media to monitor public sentiment in real time. If a customer tweets about being irked by their slow internet speed, Comcast has social media technicians at the ready to immediately address and try to remedy the problem. They are there with links on how to change internet settings to improve speed or who to call to help walk you through a task. Being available to customers is of the utmost importance.

Finally, Dell, which has a past of poor customer service, is now equipped with what Defren calls “social media ninjas” to address customer complaints and give users an arena to voice their opinions. They have really turned things around and are now focused on making sure the customer feels like they’re being heard, that their complaints are being addressed, and that product improvements are a direct result of their opinions and recommendations. For executives at Dell, improved customer loyalty and re-purchase is a major indicator of social media ROI.


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