Unlocking the Business Value of Social Media


Hootsuite conducted interviews with over 400 social media leaders to determine the business value of social media across their enterprises. Many companies track the effectiveness of social media, but many companies do not tie social media metrics to business objectives. It is important to measure the practical impact of social media.

Organizations measuring the business value of social media are doing it in the context of the customer journey. The value of social media stretches beyond marketing and into the enterprise as a whole. Social media is being used at every stage of the customers journey from awareness, engagement, evaluation, loyalty and return customers, acquisition and advocacy.

Social media’s value beyond marketing includes reducing cost, optimizing customer service, improving competitive position and managing risk. Other departments that can leverage social media metrics include operations, customer service experience, competitive strategy, innovation (research and development) and human resources. Each department should establish key performance indicators in which they can monitor activity and weigh results against business objectives.

Primary key performance indicators (KPI) should be limited to 2 or 3 metrics at a macro level. Secondary key performance indicators should be limited to 1 or 2 metrics at a micro level and are optimized to drive primary key performance indicators. The KPI’s should provide each relevant department with actionable insight which should allow them to make adjustments accordingly.

Human Resources can make use of social media for recruiting. Recruiting is essentially the marketing function for the human resource department. Recruiting is highly competitive and the use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is on the rise for recruiters for sharing career information and attracting potential applicants. Many Recruiters are tasked with monitoring employment media and communication networks such as glassdoor.com or indeed.com. If the presence on that platform is well maintained, it can make a positive difference in recruiting. If it is poorly maintained, it could have a damaging effect where it would make it harder to draw applicants towards the company through inbound applications. It is an ongoing blog series and social media posts about the application process and employee success stories can make a difference in recruiting. An insurance company created a weekly hashtag called #WorkHereWednesday where they would share company stories and community involvement posts to build their digital brand and drive job applications. Their KPI measurements included impressions, glassdoor.com ratings, increase number of new recruits. They also ran an internal campaign to encourage current employees to leave a positive glassdoor.com rating which provided them with an overall boost in applicant numbers.


In conclusion, it is clear that social media has a practical use for a variety of departments throughout an organization. Contact us to discover effective ways to leverage social media for your small business.


Written by: Andrew C. Belton


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