February 15th, 2011
Even the sophisticated real estate selection algorithms of McDonald’s and Wal-Mart would be rendered useless if the right objective driven data was not properly entered into each equation. Both companies use their extensive history and experience to project the kind of traffic that will optimize each new store’s revenue. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing for your Social Media efforts?
This week’s blog focus is on the final step of my recommended iterative process. You can review the first four steps in my previous blogs.
Two Ears, One Mouth, Truism for the Ages – The Social Media Age that is.
January 25, 2011
So You Are Listening, Now What???
January 18, 2011
“The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living”
January 25, 2011
“Past Dreams are Enabled by the Present to Ensure the Future”
February 7, 2011
“Traffic is Just the Means to an End”
State of Measurement
I was disappointed and actually a little shocked, to read the latest research from eMarketer regarding the Social Media metrics used by otherwise sophisticated marketers (http://tiny.cc/bt41b). The top metric mentioned was site traffic, endorsed by 68% of 175 CMO respondents, followed by number of fans/followers, with 62.9%, and number of positive customer mentions, also at 62.9%.
Sadly, when asked about social media activities with the highest ROI:
“CMOs were most likely to say they did not know the return from any channel other than their company’s online community. Even Facebook and Ratings and reviews, the two top venues with ‘significant ROI,’ failed to win over more than about 15% of respondents”.
If you ask me, it’s time to focus on returns and real business results, or we risk missing the true value of this unique tool. Learning to measure the value of specific social media interactions is vital to properly allocating financial resources and leveraging our strategies. Every game needs a scorecard and social media is no different.
As clear as water: Real results – not just bragging rights that 100,000 + liked you, but actually knowing that you increased awareness, trial or loyalty, and the cost of doing so.
How do you do it?
If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you should have a pretty good idea. Recapping:
1. What is your marketing objective:
Awareness: You could include a call to action, a one-question survey, or a sweepstakes entry to ensure that customers have not only passed by your page but that at least they have read it and liked it enough to have some interaction with your brand promise.
Trial: Include a coupon offer with a site-specific code. You will be able to track origins for each coupon used.
Continuity of Usage: offer reward points each time a customers comes back, makes a relevant comment, etc.
2. Listen, Monitor, Analyze, Engage:
Track who you are reaching, where are they gathering, change in attitude from your identified influencers – you will have a base metric from where you can track changes that are relevant to moving your business.
3. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater
Use your existing marketing intelligence, do not ignore your current marketing experience and learnings when executing in Social Media;
Chances are that you already have some marketing intelligence on awareness to conversion ratios, or percentage discounts needed to motivate purchase, etc – use these numbers as base projections to identify metrics to measure.
Since there have been hundred page theses written about the subject of measuring ROI, I wont bore you with the details. If there is one take-away I want you to have it is this: In business you spend to get value, and you spend to understand if you are getting value from your spending, i.e. you must measure to understand what your spending is generating.
Social Media is not an Island; it is a wonderful tool that can be incorporated into what currently makes you successful. Measuring focused objectives should be a basic component of this, as well as any part of your marketing mix.
The good news is that you have the background behind all five steps to a successful Social Media Strategy. The not so good news is that it doesn’t end here. As mentioned, these steps are iterative, so now you have to rinse and repeat just like your favorite hair conditioner. As you measure, learn from your successes and make sure to repeat them. Also, more importantly, learn from your mistakes (and believe me we all make some) and run away from them like the plague.
As we move forward I have prepared a quick survey to ensure I keep writing about what you want to read (and take some measure on who’s listening – practice what you preach, right)? Please take a minute or two to fill it out:
Stay tuned for my next blog. In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana