Want ROI From Social Media? Use The Right Tools

Marketers can sometimes be slow on the uptake. Take for example a recent survey of more than 400 CMOs that showed that social media will finally be getting its due…in about five years. According to the survey, over the next five years, social media’s share of the marketing budget is planned to jump from 8.4% to 21.6%. That’s a major increase that speaks volumes about where the marketing industry is headed. And, by extension, where customers already are.

Not surprisingly, the biggest budget increases are expected among B2C companies, who will almost triple their spending in social media marketing in the same time frame. Customer habits have changed quickly with the adoption of new technology that brings everything a consumer could want to their fingertips. But despite this rise in consumer attention, traditional media are still seeing more than their fair share of the marketing budget while social media marketing is an afterthought. Why?

The usual answer from CMOs is that it’s hard to measure ROI from social media.

Not true! In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. Traditional media offers what lawyers may call circumstantial evidence - you get some aggregate viewership data and make inferences about who is seeing your messaging and how they’re responding. That’s not measurement, that guesswork. Meanwhile, information can be gleaned from social media, and real measurement can be had. With the right setup on social media, it’s possible to see every customer action from view to share to store visit. It comes down to understanding what’s important, and tracking the information from click to sale. You simply can’t get from a TV ad what you can get from social media.

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Marketers neglecting social media could never dream of getting ahold of detailed, usable data at the individual level that they can use to create lifetime customers. Many still do not understand the power of a social network to facilitate word-of-mouth advertising in a way that print, radio, and TV never could. Social media is a marketer’s paradise. You just need to use the right tools for the job.

The Right Tools Do The Following:

1. Provide value to the customer. Incentives motivate action.
2. Measure ROI precisely (and in real time) with a trackable incentive.
3. Sift through customer data to find what matters, and then act on it.
4. Identify the best customers and turns them into vocal advocates.

Brands that are not doing these things, are not using the right tools. Because they are not using the right tools, they’re not getting the full benefit of social media as a marketing tool. So it’s no wonder that CMOs are not in a hurry to give social its proper funding. The ROI that brands so desire is there for the taking. The question is, do you want it enough?

Image courtesy of Flickr

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