Social Media ROI – A Calculator for Not for Profit Campaigns

futurelab default header

by: Matt Rhodes

Our post a few days ago on measurement and ROI in social media, Social Media ROI: Measuring the unmeasurable, prompted a fair amount of discussion. The main thrust of the post, and of the presentation it highlights, is that in order to measure ROI in social media, you need to have a clear and reasoned understanding of what it is you’re measuring and why.

  • Identify what success looks like in the online community
  • List the success metrics you can measure
  • Ignore things that might be a distraction
  • Track and measure your success metrics ruthlessly

It isn’t rocket science, and social media ROI really shouldn’t be. The tricky part of the process isn’t measuring and tracking the metrics, but identifying what they should be in the first place. This is the stage that needs time and focused effort. But in some cases a very clear success metric can be identified.

One such case is of social media activity as a fundraising tool for not-for-profits. Here the measure of success if usually the cost effectiveness of the fundraising – they want to raise as much money as possible using as little resource as possible. And they are in a great position to compare the cost and effectiveness of a number of different methods.

One great resource for those in this industry is frogloop’s Social Network ROI Calculator. This is a fantastic resource that calculates in a degree of some accuracy the ROI that not-for-profits can get from social media campaigns. As frogloop say about the calculator:

You can use this tool to calculate an estimate of cost and return on investment for the recruitment and fundraising efforts of your staff in social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. It works sort of like an online mortgage calculator. Just enter the starting assumptions in the yellow boxes below and the tool calculates results automatically.

The tool does require a lot of information but it is a comprehensive tool that delivers real and analysable ROI data for not-for-profit social media campaigns. Taking staff costs and a range of data on email acquisition rates, average donations and activities in social networks, it can calculate in quite some depth what the ROI story might be.

Go to the ROI calculator for social network campaigns

Of course, the problem with complicated models like this is that they are suited only to certain circumstances. This calculator would not be appropriate for all not-for-profit campaigns, but where it is it’s a great resource.

Some more reading

Original Post: