What’s the ROI of your company’s social media marketing efforts? How can you measure your success? And which came first – the chicken or the egg?
These questions were covered during SMX Social Media Marketing’s, “Measuring Success: From Reach to ROI.” We heard from Nan Dawkins with Social Snap, Ethan Dobson with Offerpop, and Jon Morris with Rise Interactive.
Measuring social media is difficult in part due to complex user journeys. Before making a purchase a customer might read a blog post, sign up for email updates, click on a link in an email update, arrive at a landing page, and visit the main site. A variety of activities contribute – and can culminate in – the actual purchase.
Data can end up in each touch point’s silo – and that data is difficult to connect. One suggestion is to use tracking codes in your URLs and then use your analytics system to connect the dots.
Another option is to match your social followers to your company’s customer database. Dawkins sites some success with this method. In one case study, such exercise revealed that social followers purchased 27% more from a company.
However, this leads us to the proverbial chicken and egg quandary; specifically, were they better customers because they were social followers? Or were they social followers because they were good customers? And does it matter?
For example, you know so much more about your customers than you did before. So use social media data to inform your company’s overall marketing strategy. What seems to be working? What doesn’t? Are successes directly related to your KPIs?
Morris focused on another ROI aspect of social media marketing: competitor insight. Examining your competitor’s public social media activities can be used to gain insight in to their goals, content strategy, and customers. Use this information to help differentiate yourself and develop your own, unique identity.
Finally, there is clear value in social media’s application as a retention method for existing customers. Marketers know it is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.
Interestingly, the session’s audience discussion served to reinforce two themes worth reiterating. First, accurately quantifying social media marketing is still difficult, and an area ripe for improvement. Second, don’t be dissuaded from measuring; there are still many ways to gauge the success of your social media campaign beyond the hard data.
We would love to hear more from you on this topic, and thanks for reading – hope you found this useful for your business. Stay tuned for more search advice on the Bing Business blog!
P.S. For more insight around Social Media ROI and tactics that help, see
- Tina Kelleher’s 2011 SMX report, Social Media ROI: Key Performance Indicators and Analytics Tools,
- Simone Schuurer’s recent Make Social Part of Your DNA – Social Media Week London,
- Kate Newton’s SES London 2012 Day 2: Social Media Marketing - Killer Advertising, and
- Glenn Gabe’s The Lost Vacationer and the Cost of Poor Landing Page Strategy.