This morning I came across this infographic by Wildfire that highlights the results of a Social Media ROI survey carried in November 2011. The survey was answered by 700 marketing professionals from around the world and aimed to discover how they measured the impact of their social media activity on their businesses.
From the results it’s clear that a large proportion of marketers still see social media as another channel to broadcast messages and sell stuff. The two main take-outs for me were:
1. Over a third (38%) of those surveyed focus on the number of Fans & Likes when measuring their social media success.
2. A quarter (24%) of the respondents measure the impact on revenue when assessing the success of their social media efforts.
According to the survey, 88% of marketers see brand awareness as the main benefit to come out of social media activity. Again this emphasises this perception of social media being another way of increasing the number of eye balls on your content or message.
When it comes to social media this is just the tip of the iceberg and I was surprised that there were no mentions of increased brand affinity or better customer relations & services in the survey results.
Marketers need to realise that social media can impact a business in many ways that go beyond raising awareness of your brand and selling more products. Obviously selling products is important for every business but it shouldn’t be your main focus when using social media.
Better engagement and stronger relationships are two things that really need to be considered when endeavouring to use social media. Having 1,000 engaged fans on Facebook is better than having 100,000 idle ones. 1,000 engaged fans are more likely to talk to their friends about you and share your content, which in turn is more likely to increase your sales. And as far as ROI is concerned, it is meaningless to have a standardised process or measurement as all companies have different business objectives and therefore different targets.
ROI measures need to be based around these particular objectives and targets to ensure that you don’t lose focus of what you need to accomplish.
I have contacted Wildfire to find out if outcomes such as improved brand affinity & engagement were considered when carrying out the survey, and if so how they scored with marketers. I’ll be sure to update this post as soon as I get a response. In the meantime feel free to drop me a line if you have any thoughts on any of the above.