The subject of measuring social media marketing came up in a conversation with a client this week, and I've been thinking about it. Measuring what matters is the most effective way to ascertain ROI, of course.
But, inevitably, that means firstly establishing what 'matters' most to each individual business.
And, unfortunately, traditional marketing metrics still focus doggedly on cash generated per £1 spent. Old school thinking.
One of the most amazing things to consider when discussing social media marketing ROI is the sheer variety and volume of different types of ROI based on activities undertaken via social media engagement and blog marketing. These ROI factors include:
* Financial ROI
This one is usually at the top of most businesses' lists for effective social media marketing. But, it's important to lose the traditional 'cash in per £1 spent' thinking. Social media marketing is far more sophisticated than that. There should be measurement and monitoring of cash generated from social media engagement, but don't get too obsessed with the money coming in. Remember the full mix of ROI.
* Prospect Engagement ROI
Given that more and more prospects, clients and customers are engaging online via social media, the importance of engaging with them there cannot be underestimated. If you're grabbing their attention and driving them back to your website and blog, this is an important ROI from social media marketing to consider. Traditional advertising is dying - we pay little attention, in the midst of increasing amounts of white noise, to broadcasting messages. Engaging online over time delivers new business. Fact.
* Search Engine Ranking ROI
When customers consider buying products or services, after taking on board recommendations from trusted sources, the next place they go? Online, of course. And if you're not being found via Search Engine rankings, your competition will be. This is a significant social media marketing ROI - the effective use of SEO copywriting and blog marketing can deliver outstanding results in terms of Search Engine Rankings - find out more here, here, and here. Front-of-mind online presence delivers new business.
* Brand Reputation ROI
When prospects are looking to engage with products and services, having the right presence online is critical. This blog post centred around life-threatening service delivered by Kwik Fit has attracted an average of 100 visits per day, and has generated a huge amount of negative interest from the British public and Press. Through effective social media marketing, it's possible to guarantee a number of different ROI measurements, ensuring an easy buying decision to follow from your prospects.
* Thought Leadership ROI
Since 2009, more and more companies are opening their doors online and demonstrating thought leadership via social media engagement and blog marketing. The days of 'shop window' websites are well-and-truly over. Prospects demand transparency online, and they want to see more of a company online than ever before. Effective blog marketing is a crucial way to measure, monitor and deliver thought leadership ROI. Let's face it, if you're not engaging with a prospect, you're simply talking at them.
* Competitive Edge ROI
Being perceived as leading the way via social media marketing is a critical ROI to consider. Bearing in mind that many customers make buying decisions based on emotive rather than practical factors, the importance of having the competitive edge online gets really important. If you're open, transparent, with great customer reviews and an engaging style via social media, this delivers a winning presence online. Taking business from your competition can be as simple as running an effective and consistent blog.
* Final thoughts - are you focusing on the right ROI?
Interestingly enough, the client conversation on Friday was centred around a key question, which was: "When are we going to start seeing clients and new business coming from this social media marketing?" - this is a fair enough question, of course, but it's still focusing on the financial ROI only, which is a limiting approach at best.
Given that, in three weeks, effective SEO copywriting and blog marketing alone has delivered Google Page One rankings for this client for all of their core services, it was important to point out that a fuller appreciation of social media marketing ROI is needed in coming weeks. They're a fledgling business, with an exciting set of services and a fresh approach within their industry.
The financial ROI will come in time, given the way the client's social media marketing is moving in a short space of time. I prefer to look at the overall picture, and examine ROR - Return On Relationship - to ascertain value.