Social Marketing ROI – are we there yet? The answer is still, surprisingly, “It depends!” And it just may be that as social marketing is evolving, marketers are still challenged with finding an ROI framework that works for their marketing executions across the board. According to eMarketer, 60% of marketers still measure social marketing success in terms of ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’, so it should come as little surprise that 80% of these marketers failed to achieve quantifiable ROI in 2011. To that end, the Social Marketing ROI book by Olivier is a must-read for all marketers.
As Olivier himself shares in this video, don’t let the “social” title of the book fool you – Social Marketing ROI offers marketers of all stripes a roadmap to designing, executing and measuring social marketing initiatives. As one of the most comprehensive and most approachable books on the subject of social media marketing and measurement, the book shines a new and needed light on the comprehensive nature of social marketing and how to do it well.
Image 1: The size of your social following should not be the #1 success metric
Start with strategy, decide on an end goal
As any good guide on achieving business success would tell you, planning for social marketing should not be different than planning for any of your marketing or strategic investments. Olivier’s advice should ring true for all us: “What those friendly Twitter interactions and expertly managed Facebook walls don’t tell you is that behind every corporate success story in this space is a basic operational framework that places all the right elements in the right way and at the right time”.
Companies need to integrate social in marketing, sales, business intelligence, and customer support to meaningfully impact business results. Business results are the end goal – and social marketing needs to help achieve them. As Blanchard aptly put it, “objectives dictate tactics”. If you start with a goal of 10,000 ‘Likes’, you may end with that many ‘Likes’, but little to show in sales. Or customer loyalty. Or brand advocacy.
Goals worth pursuing
As Olivier puts it, social marketing can drive tangible (sales) and intangible ROI. The tangible side of social marketing ROI that all marketers should be focused on includes four key elements, according to Olivier:
- Frequency: Increasing sales revenue by shortening the interval between transactions.
- Reach (breadth): Increasing sales revenue by increasing net new customer count.
- Reach (Depth): Increasing sales revenue by helping customers buy deeper into the product line.
- Yield: Increasing sales revenue by driving customers to increase their average per transaction spending.
Unless marketers convert those ‘Likes’ into loyal followers and then into loyal fans, you end up with the same dead-end sales funnel of the past, where completing a transaction represents the end of a customers’ value for your brand (until they buy again). To truly succeed using social, you need to unlock the full value of your fan, which involves a higher ROI through maximizing your Return on Fan (ROF).
The Road to Social ROI
As Blanchard mentioned, neither amplifying F.R.Y, nor any of the other benefits of social are possible without the right operationalization of a social marketing plan. To turn this advice into ROI, you need a new social marketing framework: DITE. DITE helps brands understand the engagement spectrum for fostering Super Fans, which allows companies to bypass the traditional closed sales model – where a fan’s value lies almost entirely in their completed transactions – and creates additional value in the Endorsement phase of the Discovery-Interaction-Transaction-Endorsement consumer journey.
Image 2: Super Fans evangelize your brand and drive amazing ROI and ROF
To see how the advice above can be applied to drive ROI and ROF, learn how to maximize your Facebook presence in our most recent white paper, 6 Best Practices to Get the Most from Your Facebook Presence.
What business goals does your company set that can be aided by social, and what tactics do you use to achieve those goals? Connect with me in the comments or on Twitter.