Member Article

Connecting the dots between social and business results

It’s online marketing focus week on Bdaily. Here, Merinda Peppard, head of marketing, advertising and social solutions at Adobe, connects the dots between social and business results.

The charm of social marketing is in its creativity, but in reality the social marketer is often left struggling to manage multiple channels across many devices. In fact, the average enterprise company manages 178 social profiles, while the average social media team is less than 3 people!

When you look at the sheer number of social accounts and assets that need managing, sometimes across countries where regulation varies, it can become a bit daunting. And when you need to then show how social improves sales and return on investment (ROI), it becomes even more complicated.

As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. We all know the power of social and huge opportunities for businesses to connect and engage directly with online communities - but c-level execs across many industries are struggling to understand the real ROI of social.

Social media managers must be accountable for their spend and make sure the maths adds up.

So, how can you prepare yourself for when the CMO asks you the inevitable question: “What is social media doing for us?”

1) Decide on your metrics:

There is no common denominator for social data, posing a multitude of challenges for social marketers. It is not quantifiable, and metrics such as likes and comments do not directly translate to bottom line business metrics. Plus the data for each platform is different than the last; Facebook measures in likes, Twitter in re-tweets, YouTube in views, LinkedIn in connections and so forth – so even across platforms, you’re dealing with isolated metrics.

Soft engagement metrics look good in a report but measuring ROI or social Net Promoter Score (NPS) is more likely to impress. NPS is how likely you are to recommend a brand to your friend once you’ve become a fan or follower, and is hugely important to help amplify the value of social media within your organisation. Moving the detractors up the NPS may be more effective than trying to go after outreach and getting more eyeballs and more awareness.

2) Measure the full journey:

The customer journeys that can be directly tracked to sales are a good place to start when proving ROI. However, the biggest source of undercounting social revenue occurs in systems that can’t track a user who clicks a link from Twitter one day, then a Facebook app a few days later, then clicks a search ad two weeks later and converts.

Last click attribution – the most common form of attribution – often leads to undervaluing or de-valuing the impact of social. 13% of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscribers interacted with our social media during their journey, but many of their “last clicks” came from search or display ads.

3) Put your resources in the right place:

For many large companies it’s simply not worth doing business on a platform if you can’t drive enough scale to impact the bottom-line. When you’re trying to sell hundreds of thousands of units of software, 20,000 of “the right fans” simply won’t cut it.

It might not be possible – nor valuable – to have a social presence on every single platform Use this insight when deciding on which social platform strategy to get right first. A critical step for quantifying social impact is knowing where your audience is, how they interact on that channel, and the right type of content to create for that channel. This data can be retrieved – in part – through integration with your website analytics. The end goal is to clearly identify where and when to interact with customers, to maximise brand exposure and business impact.

Historically, it’s been hard for social marketers to prove social ROI. However, technology is now helping brands make smart decisions about which content works best on which platforms. In short, technology allows social marketers to execute end-to-end campaigns so that they can enjoy the creativity as well as the maths.

By connecting the dots between social and business results, they will also keep the CMO happy.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Merinda Peppard, Head of Marketing, Advertising and Social Solutions, Adobe .

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