Social media marketing is everywhere. From pop stars to reality TV stars, from big brand names to small businesses, from internet marketers to MLM, you cannot be taken seriously unless you have a social network presence. It seems the more fans and followers you accumulate, the more popular you supposedly are.
Is anyone making money?
It is far from clear whether there is real value of social networking in terms of return on investment. How does this online media frenzy benefit your business or does it just burn a hole in your time freedom, outsourcing or advertising budget?
Research from eMarketer* indicates that almost half of brands are unconvinced that social marketing’s offers real value as a advertising investment, be it time or money, and has shown the lack of clear measurements of impact and ROI from social media marketing are the reason most social efforts remain low.
What is striking is the conclusion that “While relatively few marketers reported social was pointless and overhyped or too complicated to deal with, most are still not increasing revenues or otherwise profiting from their social efforts.”
In fact of the half that had some kind of social media marketing campaign going, only about a third felt it was making them money!
What can you measure? smm panel
In an attempt to crack the complexity, Cisco have developed a social media measurement framework as a guide and resource for their internal teams to help determine what and how to measure for their social media programs and initiatives.
The measurement “streams” group the most common goals and ties them back to potential key performance indicators and metrics to track them. Hard ROI type quantitative impact measures are certainly difficult to pin down for social media marketing. The environment is completely different to the straightforward cause and effect of most pay-per-click advertising strategies.
With social media marketing, you have to track what is happening in the wider sense first, and extrapolate, thus assessing some of the softer benefits than can have a financial impact further down the line.
6 ways to assess ROI
Here are six ways you can start to assess whether social media marketing is working and your business is actually making money online:
1. Have a clear strategy for your social media marketing. Decide if it is for brand awareness, reputation building, networking, lead generation. Set targets for number of followers or fans, number of leads and assess against daily, weekly, monthly activity over time.
2. Add tracking codes to every aspect of your social media marketing so that you can attribute lead generation to different parts of your strategy specifically and follow them through your sales funnel.