This post is an excerpt from our Digital Marketing Conference in Los Angeles. The conference was a rich environment for digital marketers to openly discuss tactics for building a better online presence and tracking results. All of the content from the Digital Marketing Conference is available as Digital Marketing Videos.
Here are the experts who contributed to this blog:
Here are some key takeaways from the ROI on Social Media panel:
- ROI is not one size fits all
- Keep an eye on your competitors
- Avoid being product-centric on social
For many industries, ROI on social media can mean different things. How one brand measures social can be completely different than another brand. Understand your brand’s goal on social to determine if your analytics measure up.
Social media makes it easy to see what your competitors are doing online. Find your competitors’ case studies, try to learn from their successes, then differentiate yourself from them. Get creative on social and find unique ways to increase your ROI.
It’s important for brands to avoid becoming product-centric with their messaging on social. People don’t see themselves as consumers and if you create a buyer persona that is consumer driven and doesn’t speak to your readers on a personal level then you will have low ROI on social media.
What are the differences between vanity metrics and actual ROI? How do you use a mix of them?
I think the biggest trend that is happening is from an analytics perspective. Different analytics are tracking different behaviors in different spaces, but the biggest thing is figuring out how your analytics are lining up with your campaigns. Just saying “I’m going to track engagement over here and then I’m going to track conversion over here and they are not related,” is not the right way to do it. You need to think about how your analytics are all connected. –Jennifer Winberg, Marketing Consultant
Time and attention are the two biggest currencies in the digital space. –Josh Hoffman
I would say the two biggest analytics that matter outside of actual money coming into your pocket is how big your audience is as well as how relevant your audience is. On top of that, is engagement. Understand how much time people are willing to give you on a day-to-day or a week-to-week basis. Time and attention are the two biggest currencies in the digital space because without people’s time and attention, you are not going to touch their wallet. –Josh Hoffman, We Are Yarn
ROI is many different things to many different industries. –Sirous Wadia
ROI is many different things to many different industries. It’s not one size fits all. The way that a movie studio measures social in regards to ROI is a lot different than how an auto manufacturer uses social media to drive sales at a local dealership. The KPIs are always different. –Sirous Wadia, GumGum
What is the role of competition in ROI, in measurement? How do you set the baselines and benchmarks against competitors?
Keep an eye on your competitors and learn from their successes and failures. –Jennifer Winberg
A lot of it is just seeing what the brand’s competitor is doing online. Thankfully with social media, you can definitely go out there and see what people are doing. The biggest thing is that you have to find a way to differentiate yourself. Keep an eye on your competitors and learn from their successes and failures as well. There are so many case studies out there for you to look at and people will publish the results so you can figure out whether you want to do something comparable. –Jennifer Winberg, Marketing Consultant
One of my favorite tricks is using bit.ly links to track competitors. –Serena Ehrlich
One of my favorite tricks is using bit.ly links to track competitors because if you put a “+” sign at the end of any bit.ly link, it will show you the metrics of that campaign. –Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire
Do you create a persona for your company to guide your social strategy?
Think about who your persona is. What drives them. What their challenges are. What is hard in their life and what is easy in their life? How do they operate? How do they run? Think about the customer journey. –Jennifer Winberg, Marketing Consultant
Brands that have people in HR and research & development areas think that they don’t need to know anything about social media, but every single person in your business or organization should have a basic fundamental understanding of not just social media but of all of the marketing. Marketing is your messaging, branding, content, how you talk to customers, how you receive feedback and circle that within your organization. When using a buyer persona ensure that you are treating your customers as people and not just consumers. People don’t look at themselves as consumers, they look at themselves as people who just happen to buy things for different reasons. When you make your social media so product-centric and service-centric, you end up talking to people as consumers and you turn people off. –Josh Hoffman, We Are Yarn
Which platform is providing the most ROI on social media? Provided that you understand your audience and understand your content?
Brands with an online store can set up a Facebook conversion tracking ad and then Facebook will literally tell you “we drove this amount of people to the page, they bought the product and here is how much you made, how much you spent.” The analytics are very clear. For the people that do not have an online store, use the revenue-sharing programs that both Facebook and YouTube provide to content creators. Everyone is a content creator whether you want to call yourself that or not. And the key to understanding how to take advantage of that, in addition to selling products and services, is to treat your content as one of your products and services. Marketing can then become a revenue source within the company. –Josh Hoffman, We Are Yarn
What do you do when the C-Suite want the numbers, but you have to put in the time and content to get those numbers?
You have to explain the process to the executives in your company and explain what it takes to turn around those numbers. When movie studios release a movie, they drop the first trailer a year in advance and the first poster, and they test it all. They test the reactions of the people to these initiatives and then they course-correct along the way. The CEO of that studio cares about the opening weekend, the second weekend, those opening numbers and box office results but that journey along the way over the course of that year to those initiatives is vital. You can’t have one without the other. So the CEO gets what they want, but there is a long building process to hit those numbers. –Sirous Wadia, GumGum