While social media may have revolutionised the way that brands interact with their target audience, the difficulty still remains in how to measure its effectiveness. After counting the likes, retweets and YouTube views, it’s still unclear exactly how to break down their worth.
Even the most straight-laced and conservative brands are aware of Twitter and Facebook and know that they should probably get an account and start engaging. However, everyone has a different idea on how valuable interaction on each social media channel will be.
ROI for efforts ploughed into social networking is still difficult to measure, but increasingly experts agree that it’s best viewed as a long-term commitment, rather than a flash in the pan mini-explosion.
Social media management platform Wildfire conducted a survey in November 2011 which canvassed the opinions of 700 online marketing entities of various sizes in order to gauge their collective view of social media ROI. The resultant infographic can be viewed here on their official blog.
The survey’s results determined that an overwhelming 97 per cent of respondents believed that social media marketing benefitted their business and 75 per cent intended to increase their spend this year.
The respondents saw the chief value of social media as being useful for growing brand awareness and engaging in dialogue with their customers. 58 per cent said that it was useful for increasing sales and encouraging partnerships. 41 per cent claimed that it helped reduce costs.
Facebook was rated as the most important channel on which to cultivate a fan fallowing. 70 per cent of the marketers believed that Facebook fans are worth more than non-fans as they help drive new customer recruitment and make more frequent purchases.
Wildfire’s closing statement was to issue a warning to brands that while everybody wants to grow a social media fan-following, it’s important to have a long-term online strategy to engage those fans once you have them. Failing to do so can be more harmful than doing nothing in the first place.
Putting out social signals to search engines has a broad range of benefits for a brand, provided that they can continue to provide fans with a reason to stay. Socially powered SEO is becoming ever more important as Google and other search engines reward social media engagement with higher rankings in their SERPs.