Some of the Lead Intelligence team attended the latest First Tuesday event this week, focused on the topic of how to measure and improve return on investment on social media activities. We are not social ‘through n through’ for good reason, but we are deploying an increasing number of social touchpoints and engagement options in our campaigns as results become achievable, meaning that this topic was one of great interest.
As you would expect from First Tuesday, the event was superb, with an excellent cross-section of attendees and some very interesting speakers. Hosted at the Google Campus in East London, we got to network with our peers, as well as learn a new thing or two about measuring success in social channels.
To test the waters, we were all asked at the start whether we thought the ‘Social Media ROI’ was already possible, and the room responded very clearly with only around 10% thinking that ROI was achievable. A select panel of speakers then discussed their particular programmes and strategies to further educate and inspire the room about the ROI already achievable, moderated by the very knowledgeable Maija Palmer who many of you will have read in the FT.
We Are Social, an agency that looks after social media for a huge number of major brands, presented a methodology for assessing the ROI of fan bases, in this case for Bulmers cider. While we might not completely agree with it from our perspective (being a fan is a poor second to being a fully-fledged prospect in our view!) it was a fresh and engaging way of assessing and valuing fan bases.
The Social Media Manager from Telefonica was next to talk, and he broadened our thinking about what social media ROI can actually mean. As marketers, we are keenly focused on the use of these channels to drive marketing communications and sales, but of course, its value spreads far further. The massive audiences reachable via social media today has essentially created a huge focus group to tap into for product research, customer support and while some companies such as giffgaff have been created with this in mind, the ethos is now stretching across all manner of businesses. Customers can and are now using also social media as a first line customer service tool for example, asking and often getting answers from their networks or Telefonica itself about basic handset or technical queries. This is having a positive impact on the official customer service channels deployed for customers by reducing call centre costs and expenditure, and one we expect will also have positive impact on customers using the traditional channels by reducing their call-waiting times too.
One of the people we got to chat to after the presentations worked for Buyapowa, the social sales platform. This company’s focus is on using social as a sales channel and driving collaborative commerce to help consumers purchase desired products at keen prices and it is already delivering some solid ROI in its campaigns apparently. This is something we are also seeing in our Google Get Offers and Twitter Lead Generation Card formats we’re now integrating for relevant products and services we work with. Even the most simple of tactics such as enabling social sharing for organisations like Greenpeace is having positive outcomes for the campaigns we run, vastly extending the reach and resonance achievable.
The core take-outs from the event were that to ensure ROI success in social media, you need to:
- Define success clearly
- Set realistic, specific goals
- Track all activity
- Analyse success against objectives
These points may sound obvious, but in the flurry of excitement over social media, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic reasons as to why we’re there. These 4 simple steps will help keep us all on track.
Going back to the question asked at the start of the event, we were once again asked the same question at the end. If First Tuesday needed a way to measure the ROI and success of their event, they certainly got it! From a 10% figure at the start of the evening, by the end around 50% of attendees stated they believed ROI was achievable in social media. This shows just how important events like this are for inspiring businesses and changing mindsets. We’ll be attending more of these this year, and hope to see some of you down there. Full details of past and future events can be found at: http://firsttuesday.org.uk/