“The ROI of Social Media Is Your Business Will Still Exist In 5 Years!”
“BAM!”, as they say. What a powerful statement from Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics. If you are on the fence about whether the internet is here to stay, or if social media is influential, please invest three minutes in this fact-filled video: Socialnomics 2017.
So, how do you measure the ROI of social media?
Well, this is a common question, and unfortunately, it doesn’t have a simple answer. Since you can apply social media in a multitude of directions and formats it can be difficult to measure. While we do have incredible analytics tools available, it is unlikely that the quote request, newsletter sign-up, or widget purchase your company produced came solely from a single social media post or advertising tactic. Think about the last thing you bought. A Coke? A double-double? A new pair of jeans? What are all of the marketing tactics that you saw recently about that product? What was the last one you saw? I bet you don’t know. The reality is, we don’t know why we purchased some of the things we did recently, so it may not be fair to set that as the standard to evaluate social media. I am not suggesting we give up, I am just suggesting it is difficult. Keep this in mind, for decades companies have advertised on TV, Billboards and newspapers, all really with no factual proof of the direct results.
To highlight this post, I worked with a gentleman who worked with Coke and Pepsi for a combined 30 years. Bob told me that Coke had two goals for every town. Get Coke’s brand on the scoreboard in the school and the hockey arena. They knew if they could make you a Coke drinker as a kid they could keep you for life. Yes, Coke likely still relies on that tactics but they also execute in many channels.
‘Marketing Assist’ defined
Building on this point, a concept to familiarize yourself with is a ‘marketing assist’. What that means is that the post, content, or high-school scoreboard assisted in creating a conversion (a purchase). Meaning, if 20% of people that bought a product from you, downloaded some content about that product first, then that content helped with the conversion. The post wasn’t the original source or the converting source but it still plays a role. One sign that you are benefiting from marketing assists is increasing conversion rates. This topic can go pretty deep if we dive into attribution models (ex. First Interaction, Last Interaction, Time Decay, etc.) for assessing value to conversions, but that is a topic for another day.
Logically, if more leads are engaging with your content before they buy, a greater percentage of the leads should actually buy.
So, what does this mean?
The lesson here is not: Does social media have ROI? Or, what value did one specific post provide? It is the understanding that multiple posts on multiple channels over an extended period of time are contributing to increased brand awareness and conversions. Social media is just another, albeit very powerful channel to accomplish your business goals.
What was your favourite stat from Socialnomics? Please comment below.
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