Social Media and the ROI Conundrum


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Presented by Joel Don, Comm Strategies, at the 7th Annual Marketing & Sales Summit

The marketing and public relations industry continues to focus on developing solutions to meet the challenge of delivering valid program measurement and proof of ROI. Prior to social media, professionals relied on totaling column inches, estimating media impressions, counting mentions, eyeballs and visits, and proffering the highly controversial (and mostly discounted) advertising equivalency values. These approaches will continue to wane with the ongoing disruption of traditional media channels. The new media revolution coupled with the rapid growth of social platforms, tools and services (many at little or no cost) have ushered a new set of metrics into the ROI equation.

The presentation will review current thinking on measurement, and examine options and challenges to delivering valid social media ROI. From a budget perspective, analytical tools that are low cost or free will be compared to full-blown paid services such as Radian6 and Sysomos. The objective of the presentation is to enable marketing and communications professionals to implement measurement systems or approaches that can help an organization better understand how social media tools and strategies deliver results to the business bottom line. Examples will be offered from well-document ROI cases from large, recognized brands. Perhaps more important, the presentation will cover how lesser known small and medium-sized businesses can scale social media ROI to justify the implementation of customer engagement and conversation strategies.
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Social Media and the ROI Conundrum

  1. 1.  Social media & the C-Suite value debate Understanding: what SM is and isn’t Integration & the end of business fiefdoms (aka silos) Measurement approaches 2
  2. 2.  Can you measure what you don’t value? >70% of Fortune 500 CEOs don’t do social media Traditional advertising & PR: estimated reach and impressions ◦ Tells us nothing about the customers ◦ Relies purely on correlations What’s the ROI? Right question: why invest? 3
  3. 3.  Time Legal Safety (except for LinkedIn) Skepticism/trust Proof of financial return on money spent 4
  4. 4.  26% fans, followers and supporters 25% web traffic 16% lead generation 10% reduced cost of customer support 7% value of sales generated through social media programs Source: Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts. 5
  5. 5.  Return on Engagement (ROE) Return on Participation (ROP) Return on Listening (ROL) Return on Fluid Listening (ROFL) 6
  6. 6.  Amplifier of existing Companies business functions communicate/interact  Delivers velocity to People get relationships, marketing processes trust, conversation  Empowered WOM 7
  7. 7. Customer 8
  8. 8.  40 SM employees $6.5M 25K to 1.5M followers Total Rev: $61B 2007 2008 2009 9
  9. 9.  Social media is not a strategy, it is a communications tool Social media supports existing business goals & objectives Every customer touch point can be enhanced by social media ◦ Public relations/corporate communications/crisis management ◦ Marketing (including email marketing, newsletters, etc.) ◦ Customer service ◦ Human resources ◦ Lead generation/sales ◦ Event planning/management ◦ Market research ◦ Mobile apps Goals & Objectives Tactics ◦ Blogging ◦ Blog comments ◦ LinkedIn Groups & LinkedIn Answers (B2B) ◦ Shares, mentions, retweets ◦ Status updates (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+) ◦ Alternative platforms (Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon) 10
  10. 10.  To measure, you must establish targets (timeframes) Social media goal: increase brand awareness, encourage engagement via myriad social platforms, boost sentiment (non-financials) leading to conversion (financial) ◦ Frequency (more transactions) ◦ Reach (more customers) ◦ Yield (more transactions per customer) 11
  11. 11. $225.99 for 50K “100% Top NotchQuality Twitter Followers” in 20days. $9.99 gets you 900$590.99 for 100K+ video views$350 for 25K Fan Page likes$550 for 10K +1s$55 for 300 followers 12
  12. 12. plan development, Initiation KPIs set Outputs blogs, tweets, shares, updates, videos, commentslistening, tracking, monitoring, data Inputscollection, analysis Non- likes, shares, RTs, subscribers, financial mentions, bounce rates, page outcomes views, time per page$ales, repeat $ales Conver$ion 13
  13. 13.  KPI reveals if goal/objective, which lead to specific tactics, achieve specific targets Visitors/followers are easy (gamed); the “right” visitor is hard Website analytics Event registrations Newsletter subscriptions Likes Email signups Recommendations Registration for contests Blog Poll/surveys completed Blog comments Shares RSS subscriptions Retweets Content requests/downloads Bounce rates Click-throughs Sales revenue Time on page 14
  14. 14.  ROI is not projection or estimate. Reasonable case studies relevant ROI calc: only after investment yields return Establish baseline; monitor deltas/changes & factor sentiment analysis Incorporate all costs ◦ travel, personnel, training, memberships, consultant fees, conferences, Facebook ads, sponsored tweets, YouTube ads, mobile app dev. Social media is not free. Correlations are OK. Track non-financial metrics (transactional precursors), i.e. followers, likes, subscriptions. Dotted, not a direct line. Direct line consideration: isolate tactics & track customers ◦ promotional codes, special landing pages, CRM intelligence 15
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  17. 17. Monitoring Dashboards ($)Facebook Google Sprout Insights Analytics HootSuite Spcial TweetDeck Cision Radian6 Spiral16 Sysomos Vocus Customer Audits Market Research Focus Groups 18
  18. 18. Objective: Increase sale of HMI licensesTarget: 250 more licenses sold in Q2 in N.A. market Q2 KPIs  Positive company/product mentions in Q2  Net new FB likes, RTs, subscriptions, downloads isolated to HMI campaign  Net new click-throughs of links to website (inbound links)  Net new downloads of promoted content (white papers, backgrounders, marketing) showcasing why additional seats are needed  YouTube HMI promotional video (views)  Coupon/discount codes isolated to Q2 campaign issued via email marketing, tweets, FB updates, inbound website events  Actual HMI license sales in Q2ROI Correlate response with sales via social monitoring tools Comparison metric: HMI licenses sales outside of N.A. market; comparative sale of other products (baselines. Social media campaign increased perception and awareness, stimulating a preference and driving customers to a purchasing decision. Conversion. 19
  19. 19. Objective: Reverse disinformation on bailouts & FordTarget: U.S. market, 2009 2009 KPIs  Frequent and appropriate engagement with public  Counter all blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. posts including Ford in federal bailout  Public relations alone insufficient  Integrated corporate approach to crisis management ROI: pre and post-sales results  Positive financials  Analysis showed sentiment 20
  20. 20. 1. Social media ROI is a financial calculation. Likes, followers, shares, etc. are non-financial metrics.2. You must have a business justification for social tactics. Followers, fans, subscribers have no value unless they can be turned into customers.3. You cannot deliver ROI if you do not have access to digital intelligence and real-time financial data. Calculator + Excel are your new friends.4. Anything and everything can be measured. Measure what matters; what matters to your company may not matter to mine.5. If C-Suite demands ROI proof, SM compaign plan starts with business objective(s), targets (timeframe) and KPIs (metrics). No measurement, no ROI. 21
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