Blood from a stone – Discovering the ROI within your social media campaign – Targeted and Untargeted Engagement
It’s the variable that all of us are looking for within this brave new world of social media. I constantly hear clients say “I don’t get it? How am I supposed to make money with this?”. It’s a simple question but it’s not such an easy one to answer. Traditional media has forever spouted their (usually) fabricated analytics that state that x number of people purchase this media source and our extensive focus group studies have shown that 12% of this demographic will consume your advertisements and out of that number 10% will initiate contact. As a Creative Director I have seen booklets upon booklets of these analytics over the years and very rarely have they ever been true to form. Typically, these analytics have been tailored to lull you into a comfort zone of parting with your money. After all, they wouldn’t show you these analytics if they were horrible.
Anyway, back to social media. It’s not a place where conventions such as analytics have really been defined. Why haven’t they been defined as of yet? Well this answer is easy, because nobody knows what social media “can” do for them. Sure, there are tons of “want to be” analytics that track how many people you follow and how many times you message but all of these analytics are useless unless you have define-able goals and understand the potential of the tools. Now instead of going into a rant explaining all of the ways that people are using the technology incorrectly I’m going to showcase some true ways to showcase your ROI in the social media realm. So within my next number of entries I am going to touch base on these specific aspects of social media and how they can affect your bottom line either making your company money or saving your company money.
1) Targeted and Un-Targeted Engagement
2) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
3) Reputation Management
4) Brand Awareness
5) Warm Lead Sales Structure
6) Database build
So for the first entry in this series we will discuss one of the most obvious elements that can be a positive ROI structure;
Targeted and Un-Targeted Engagement
If you are unaware of the term engagement, in marketing what it generally refers to is communicating, and in marketing it’s typically with your audience or target. In traditional marketing this was typically “blind” or one-sided engagement. Meaning that you spoke and the audience listened. Or…they didn’t. In traditional marketing you designed your collateral with a “pull”, such as “Call today!”. Basically trying to get the end user to decide to call you on their own. Another technique to reach the end user is called a “push” this is where companies try to engage with you such techniques as cold calling from purchased lists. A very intrusive form of marketing that annoyed more than engaged.
Now I do have a point to all of this. In order to know what you are gaining you have to know the options that were available previously. Now with social media you have the opportunity to follow and track your target demographic and their conversations with search tools. This aspect is a much more honest representation of a focus group as far as I’m concerned because by following conversation you aren’t indirectly affecting it. By following them it also gives them the opportunity to follow or friend you. This is an unobtrusive form of marketing as they have decided to opt in and listen to what you have to say. It also makes them a more engaged consumer. This sort of targeted marketing is close to impossible to achieve with traditional media as you can’t choose your end users.
Another reach that I find just as powerful is the un-targeted engagement. These are the people who aren’t in your target demographic that decide they would like updates from you. This is a powerful group because until social media you had no idea that they were interested in you at all. It’s a completely untapped market. This equals good! Now, it is true that they just might be trying to add to their numbers but that’s also pretty obvious to see when you decide if you would like to follow them back or not. Regardless, they expand your reach and may even know someone interested in your product.
So how do I determine a proper ROI from targeted and un-targeted engagement? Well, it’s too individualized and involved to explain the build of an ROI component entirely on a blog but this is a simplified version:
Cost savings on base focus group
You can now view a more accurate representation of your target demographic through the use of social media searching of key word phrases without the costs incurred within a traditional focus group.
Utilizing social media on average “push” marketing (cold calling and networking) campaign
Lower or eliminate costs by replacing your telemarketing or direct mail company with a much less obtrusive form of reach and minimize your out of office networking time by networking with targeted connections via social media.
Utilizing social media on average pull advertising (placement and development within traditional media)
Advertise and promote to your targeted demographic without the cost of placement and with the potential of immediate client engagement. Typically social media will reduce your overall design costing as well due to a large percentage of it being text based.
Defined sales from social media
Don’t expect your sales to be off the hook in this department. Sales can happen on social media but it’s usually the direct result of a great marketing concept or salesperson.
So there you have it. In terms targeted and un-targeted engagement it’s primarily a cost savings over the traditional media you have always utilized with a more effective unobtrusive reach. This isn’t to say that traditional media isn’t still valid. I still recommend traditional media on a regular basis but social media is certainly more effective in certain areas.
Please feel free to ask me any questions. I would love to hear from you.
Join me next time for: Blood from a stone II – Discovering the ROI within your social media campaign – The ROI of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
This entry was posted on March 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm and is filed under Media, social media, Twitter . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.