Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social media sites are effective tools for businesses to target their online audience. The question still remains, how effective are they, really? With so many online marketing tools available, it can be difficult to determine how each social interaction relates to the ROI, or return on investment. In his article, “The Value of a Like,” Adam Woods explores this topic with other marketers in today’s social generation and they all agree—it isn’t easy.
Tom Ollerton, associate director at Skive and member of the IAB Social Media Council, makes the point that it’s difficult to make a how-to guide for Facebook and other sites because each one is different. Others agree that measuring success based on ‘likes’ is deceiving because they are easily accumulated and don’t necessarily show how engaged a person is in a business.
“The vast majority of people click because they want to win a competition, or because there is something on the site that intrigues them, but they are not suddenly wedded to your brand, and thanks to (Facebook’s ruthless feed-governing algorithm) EdgeRank, they won’t necessarily even see the messages you send,” said Katy Howell, managing director of Immediate Future.
As technology advances, other corporations are proving that knowledge is social and that it can be measured in real terms. Eloqua recently released three types of social media apps with its Social Suite that are designed to pull consumers’ social information, allowing businesses to target existing content and contacts specifically for each user. The apps also create reports that help marketers track which online campaigns or social sites are most effective in encouraging consumers to buy in to their business.
Paul Teshima, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Eloqua, said the Social Suite gives a full view of buyers’ digital behavior. “With that level of insight,” Teshima said, “our customers can at last see how social can truly drive revenue performance.”
Another tool for measuring social marketing is Fathom Pro from Jive, which automatically replies to content posted by users and increases engagement based on its sentiment analysis. This tool works to monitor activity on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs and is useful to larger companies who need to share social media analytics to many employees within their corporation.
Measuring the effectiveness of a ‘like’ may seem impossible, but tracking online interactions is necessary for businesses to thrive in the social generation. “If we want people to engage with us day to day, then we have to give them something in return,” said digital marketing manager James Young. “We could all be offering discounts, but a relationship based on entertaining content has real social currency.”
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