Do you have a social media manager in your company? How do you measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts? Do you ask for a social media ROI?
I remember I read somewhere a marketing person answering the question “what’s the ROI of social media” with another question: “What’s the ROI of your phone?”
The problem is companies are used to measure their wellness with numbers (some use profits, some others use revenues only, some others use bookings, some use any of the 3… depending of what is more convenient to share to the board). So now execs want numbers out of social media too. Do clicks matter? Do Facebook fan pages matter? what is a good number? 100? 1000?
And of course marketers do their best to keep their bosses happy.
Surprisingly, more business are offering a quick marketing recipe these days: buy twitter followers and Facebook fans. In the era of social networks, where the word “social” is key and where companies have an incredible opportunity to listen to their audience and learn from what their clients have to say, there is still a shortcut for lazy marketers who just care aboout delivering numbers and not results.
And after browsing some online forums and discussion groups around this topic, I also found there are a few markeers willing to use such resources to keep their executives happy. After all, their target was to reach a certain number of twitter followers by a certain date.
Are these solutions really delivering what you are looking for? Are you using social media to generate traffic, to show you are very popular, or because you care about your business and about your clients?
Brand reputation is built on credibility, not celebrity. If your marketing department is cheating on your brand reputation, maybe they are not the right people for your business.
The great value of social media is to bring your brand so close to your customers that they can touch it, and can finally let you know what they think about your company, what really works in your product and what doesn’t. What is your differentiating factor making your business so good. Or how you could improve your product to become a market leader.
While traditional marketing has been built to bring your voice out and let others know you, here’s the magic of today’s marketing efforts – or at least this is what your company’s social media strategy should be focusing on: you bring you’re customers’ voice inside your board meeting.
When you buy Facebook fans, this won’t tell you which is the segment (in terms of age, sex and location) that better represents your clients. When you buy Facebook fans, they are not fans. It’s like paying people to clap their hands at the opera theatre. It’s not getting a deserved applause or a standing ovation.
How can you measure your social media marketing effectiveness then, if not on clicks, fans and followers? You can measure it by the feedback your marketing department is able to gather and bring to your table.
But the point is: while the social media marketing role is now “to listen”, will company execs be able to listen to their marketing and update the company’s product portfolio following their customers’ comments?