Are you struggling to quantify your company's B2B social media marketing ROI?
Well, you're certainly not alone. Recent studies by Adobe indicate that 88% of marketing professionals aren't able to accurately measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns, including their organisation's return on investment (ROI). This research is coupled with additional research by CMO which indicates that social media spending is at an all-time high. If you're feeling the pressure to provide specifics on the exact impact of your outreach, don't fear. Here's a simple, step-by-step guide to showing your return on investment:
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4 steps to proving social media marketing ROI
1. Implement Closed-Loop Analytics
Closed-loop analytics are a relatively new phenomenon, which have been made much easier with the help of technology. Have you ever made a purchase, and been asked by the sales associate how you heard about the company? This was their attempt to "close-the-loop," and understand which of their marketing campaigns were yielding the best results.
With the help of today's web analytics technologies, it's simple to see which of your website visitors first land on your website by clicking a link in social media. However, in the B2B space, it's especially rare that these first-time visitors immediately turn into customers. Fortunately, there are a myriad of tools and technologies available that allow you to follow customers from their first-click to the purchase, by integrating with your company's customer relationship management system. With the help of the right technologies, it's easy to close-the-loop and identify each of your paying customers who discovered your brand via social media. This can allow you to calculate social media marketing ROI right down to the pound.
2. Quantify the Value of Traffic
Is your organisation paying for paid search advertising and pay-per-click marketing? Whether you're engaged in paid search campaigns in the past or present, this data can be of significant value to social media managers. Fast Company's John Souza recommends analysing the cost of a website visitor through paid advertising, and using this metric to develop the social media marketing ROI of the visitors driven through LinkedIn, Twitter, and other sources. If you're not using paid search, you can develop a similar metric by calculating your visitor-to-lead, and lead-to-customer conversion rates.
Once you've developed the tools and analytics capabilities to close-the-loop and start developing the basics of measuring your social media marketing ROI, it's time to switch to a campaign and platform-focused approach. How does your content on Twitter match up to your company's LinkedIn page when it comes to driving visitors and leads? How about your company's latest focus, or the coupons you generated?
Developing the ability to drill down your analytics and determine the relative performance of platforms and campaigns can allow your organisation to significantly improve it's social outreach, and increase it's overall social media marketing ROI.
4. Report and Improve
What good is measurement if you're not using the knowledge to improve? Developing a culture of social media marketing metrics is only valuable if you use these insights to get better at the types of content you post. Learn the optimal times of day, channels and types of content to drive results for your organisation, and apply this wisdom immediately. The more you measure, the faster you're able to improve!
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