Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

Social Media

Social Media has risen in popularity over the last several years, becoming one of the hottest topics in the marketing industry, along with words such as Online Reputation Management and Digital Engagement. Each one has had a significant impact on our burgeoning digital world and Social Media forms a strong cumulative vantage point for us as marketers to gauge and interact with our stakeholders. In his 2010 report Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Michael Stelzner summarised 1365 open-ended responses into 10 fundamental questions marketers want answered, in order to prepare and assist them in this new and exciting field. Below finds my viewpoints and findings on these questions, as part of my course on Digital Marketing Strategy, but also as part of my continuous attempts to understand and define our Social Media space. I will be posting my answers to one of the ten questions each day for ten days.

1. How do I measure Social Media return on investment?

The first question in Stelzner’s report hinges around marketer’s ability to accurately track and report on Social Media’s return on investment to companies. Taking a step back we also need to understand that one of the most compelling reasons people have found a growing use in digital has been its ability to report on ROI, through all digital channels, including Social Media.

So how can one measure Social Media? Several valuable tools exist on each of the Social Media touch points that allow for measurements. Facebook offers users Facebook Insights, which examines likes, interactions, demographics, media consumption and much more. Twitter allows for several methods of tracking, firstly through link-tracking sites such as bit.ly and Tweetdeck to influence measurement in your community through Klout and Twittergrader. Youtube has Video Statistics and each other Social Media channel has its own analytics system.

The main factor, and steps, that we need to take into consideration is how to measure the ROI for Social Media but rather the why’s of measurements. In order to determine we need to follow several steps, as set out by Adam Mitchell in his Ideate Article How to Start Monitoring your ROI from Social Media and Olivier Blanchard in Basics of Social media ROI:1.  Establish a baseline, remember through baselines we can establish delta’s (changes)

2.  Create activity timelines, plot activitiesSocial Media Return on Investment
3.  Look at sales revenue, number of transactions*, net new customers
4.  Measure transactional precursors (positive and negative mentions),
5.  Overlay all timelines
6.  Look for patterns
7.  Prove relationships

This analytical, reasoned, approach will provide you with a clear and effective business case to present to company stakeholders when reporting on the effectiveness and justifications for investments in Social Media

*Transactional data should be specific (Frequency, Reach and Yield)

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