Can you put a value on your social media campaign?

How can you determine the value of your social media campaign?

Number of people reached, retweets and shares, likes and comments, website hits?  All useful and easy to measure but how about ‘identifying a new gene associated with a disease’?

I was really excited to read the news from ALS that the money raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge has had an amazing impact on their work.

More than numbers

Successful social media is not all about the numbers you reach and trying to go viral. The true value of a social media or communications campaign is measured by the organisational impact it has. The ice bucket challenge achieved huge social media reach, massive participation and impressive rates of sharing.

In Summer 2014 more than 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos posted on Facebook, and 28 million people uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts.

On Instagram over 3.7 million videos were uploaded with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge. Justin Bieber’s was one of the most popular – with about one million “likes”.

The social media activity drove people to the ALS website, average daily visits were about 17,500 before the ice bucket challenge, compared with the peak of 4.5 million visits on 20 August 2014 (of which 83% were new to the site). (Source for statistics – BBC)

The real value of a campaign

But the real value of the campaign lies in the fundraising and now the results of the research the money funded.  Those results can take a long time to come through and are not always easy to measure and directly attribute to social media activity.

In this case the link is clear and it is also really good to see ALS communicating the work that has been done with the money raised.  People like to get involved, are happy to support charities, but without such follow-ups may wonder whether their efforts were worthwhile. I’ve seen posts like this one showing supporters really feel part of the achievement.

ice bucket post on Facebook

Your social media campaigns may not always have such life changing results.

But it is crucial that you measure and monitor both the reach and the impact your work has, and link it back to the objectives of your organisation.