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ROI and Social Media

Obviously social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn are newcomers to the online marketing world. Their core focus is clearly evolving. Being that they are so new, it is easy to understand that most marketers are simply not experienced in marketing to these type of communities.

Unlike web analytic software (Google Analytics, ClickTracks, Omniture, etc) there is currently no widely accepted standard dashboard in existence that is able to monitor all forms of social media and in effect determine ROI. This process is left almost entirely to the marketer. There are many attempts to monitor conversations and measure overall buzz (Buzzlogic, TruCast). I have spoken with and demo'd the material of these two firms and they both measure conversations fairly well.

It seems to me that in order to measure success and inevitably ROI, you need to first establish your own objectives and determine which KPI's you wish to follow. I think it’s reasonable to believe that without indicators such as revenue growth and conversion metrics it is hard to determine overall ROI.

In the business world, ROI is typically determined by taking the amount of the total investment and dividing that by the amount of the return. Since social media marketing is based almost entirely on trust and dialogue, how can you measure this?

I believe that the metrics used in calculating the success of a social media marketing campaign area going to be unique. In short, a focus on lead generation and driving sales is going to have a different set of ideal metrics than a general focus on user engagement.

I am finding out in my own research, there are several ways to determine an individual's likelihood that they are providing influence to others - a common determinant in the success of a social media marketing campaign.

Metrics to consider: Do they have a blog? How many posts are within this blog? Do they have social network profiles? How many 'friends' do they have? How long have they been a member of a particular social network? How long has it been since their last login? Additionally, what kind of digital footprint are they leaving across the web?

Again, certain campaigns are going to follow a different set of parameters though it's a starting point.

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7/23/2008 06:44:00 AM Subscribe to RSS FeedSubscribe to RSS Feed

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