Social media marketing is no longer a trend; it’s an industry mainstay. According to a recent Social Media Examiner industry study, 92 percent of marketers feel social media is important for their business, a 6 percent increase from 86 percent in 2013.
It’s clear that social marketing is beneficial to business growth, but the secret sauce that ties the dish together has yet to be discovered. While advertisers are investing in social, they’re not exactly sure how to obtain a 100 percent return on investment as of yet. In fact, 89 percent of respondents in Social Media Examiner’s study noted they want to know the most effective tactics and the best ways to engage their audience on social platforms.
Even despite myriad metrics and analytics available, marketers have found it challenging to pin down how to obtain a complete ROI, which makes it difficult to optimize campaigns going forward. Lead generation strategies are predicated on targeted outreach efforts, but that can’t be realized without narrowing the focus of a social network campaign.
Internal metrics may be the key to social media marketing success
Attitudes toward social media marketing likely won’t change in the near future, and it’s safe to say advertising budgets may continue pouring dollars into online network marketing in the coming years. That said, it’s time for decision-makers to look at ROI from a different perspective. In the past, online platforms have provided marketers with dashboards and other sets of tools to measure arbitrary metrics such as shares and likes, but these units of measurement are difficult to equate to bottom line revenue.
Social ROI comes from within
Social media marketing ROI must come from within then, since the traditional metrics, while valuable in their own right, have proved challenging to marketers in the past. A recent eMarketer report spoke to multiple industry experts about social ROI, and they suggested the three following ideas to measure social return:
- Earned impressions are important; learn how to value them.
- Heed the advice of multiple stakeholders. Collaborate with clients and their research departments.
- Businesses need to do a better job of understanding their clients’ objectives and using social metrics to optimize their campaigns. Demonstrate business value by developing metrics that will be useful for their outreach efforts.
It’s important to not ignore the metrics already available in the social space, as these can help businesses optimize their own or their clients’ campaigns. That said, marketers need to go a step further to try to understand how these figures apply to their individual objectives, thus creating a more personalized outreach effort and an enhanced lead generation strategy.