Groundswell inside your company and ROI

Do you have any idea about how companies collaborate and communicate with their employees? In my previous blog posts, I have been discussing how companies connect with their customers in the groundswell. Today, I will be discussing about employees, the true assets of the company. Organizations develop a communication channel (Social network) or a collaborating tool to connect with its employees and “start by thinking about the relationships, not the technologies” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.242).


Internal groundswell helps an organization to create new ways for its employees to connect and work together. This participation through internal groundswell helps employees to invest in the company and feel a sense of accountability (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.244).

By nurturing the groundswell power of employees, an organization can “promote a listening culture from top down, ease and encourage participation with incentives, and find and empower the rebels in [your] organization” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.245).

Avon can benefit from its groundswell only, if its management participates well in it. Avon’s management encourage its representatives to participate in their internal forums and share their ideas openly without the fear of losing their jobs or getting punishment for their posts. The Avon repsmanagement has to play a significant role in-order to take advantage of the internal groundswell as “internal social applications demand a high level of trust because employees have more at stake when they participate” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.245)

Avon representatives participate openly as they know they are being heard and will be responded in a professional way. It is important to note that technologies that work best at generating participation within the organization differ from external customer-oriented efforts (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.247). Teams within the organization need support and collaboration tools like wikis to “stay up-to-date on a project, to share competitive market intelligence, and to collect and vote on promising ideas” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.247).

As most of Avon’s loyal customers turn into its representatives, the passion of these energized representatives can make Avon succeed in the groundswell. Now, I will discuss how this participation in the groundswell helps an organization increase its social media return on investment.

Social media return on investment (ROI) is defined as “a measure of the efficiency of a social media marketing campaign” (Holmboe, 2011). According to social media examiner, we are required to calculate social media return and social media investment before placing it in the financial ROI formula:

Social media ROI= (SM return – SM investment) / SM investment %.

An organization needs to have specific social media marketing goals (like strengthening the brand, acquiring contacts, generating sales or gaining brand advocates) before analysing social media ROI. According to iContact Corp., “it is important to use a goal-based approach for evaluating your social media marketing efforts’ ROI” (Ghali, 2011, p.11).

Social media return (SM return) is the value derived from the social media campaign e.g. if your goal is to derive sales, then SM return is the number of sales that you can attribute to your social media campaign. If your goal is to drive consumer insights, than your social media return is the quantity and quality of the consumer insights you get from your fans and followers (Holmboe, 2011). It is difficult to quantify social media return as one has to focus on “each type of social media return and develop a method for dollar quantification” (Holmboe, 2011).

There is no universal rule for measuring ROI. Many different ways are available online but I will be focusing on three methods that can help gauge what a business is getting out of its social media commitment (Burg, 2013).

1.      Metric tools:

The first method for measuring ROI is by the use of metric tools. One example is “Conversion Measurement, a Facebook tool that allows those who advertise on the platform to record the behavior of those who click on ads” (Burg, 2013). According to Wasserman, “tools used in combination can be more powerful, such as Conversion Measurement

and OptimizedCPM” as it helps “Facebook ads target the right people” (Burg, 2013).

2.      Interactions:

The second way to measure ROI is through interactions. Cohn states that “Every single comment, photo, video or post takes a few seconds for a user to digest” (Burg, 2013). Similarly, “It is estimated that the average ‘like’ on Facebook takes seven seconds per person while close friends of this person will take an average of five seconds to digest that ‘like.’” (Burg, 2013). Analysing these “likes” and multiplying them by the number of friends witnessing this action gives a clear idea of how far the message has reached. Content engagement also helps in understanding if your content is resonating with your audience.

Content engagement = clicks/content reach

3.      Analysing traffic:

It is difficult to analyse what actions on these social media sites have driven traffic and what is its true cost? Your website analytics can help you find how many people visited your Face book or Twitter pages. It has been found that “by analysing your website analytics against pay per click (PPC Campaign)” gives a clear idea (Burg, 2013). Souza states that “[look] at the average cost of those PPC campaigns per person then analyse that cost against how many visitors you get from free social media placements” as this helps in measuring ROI and determining the worth of the traffic (Burg, 2013).


Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.

Burg, N. (2013, April 25). CapitalOneSparkVoice: How To Measure Your Social Media Return On Investment – Forbes. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Retrieved August 4, 2013, from

Holmboe, D. (2011, May 20). A simple way to calculate social media return on investment. Social media examiner. Retrieved August 7, 2013 from

Ghali, P. (2011). iContact-Calculating your social media marketing return on investment. Retrieved on August 9, 2013 from



2 thoughts on “Groundswell inside your company and ROI

  1. Pingback: If You’re Not Using Social Media to Travel, You’re Doing it Wrong | Travel Relapse

  2. Pingback: How to Get Major League Results From Social Media | Social Media Examiner | Ellen Oliver Communications

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