©2010, Forrester Researh, I. Reprotio ProhiiteJ 16, 2010
The ROI O Soia Meia Marketig
For Iteratie Marketig Proessioas
SOCIAl MEDIA DElIVERS RESulTS ThAT ARE MORE SuBSTAnTIAl ThAn MERE ROI
Marketing investment in social media is increasing, yet marketers continue to struggle with themethodologies or validating these investments. In the absence o standardized best practices, someturn to ROI as a means o proving social contributions, but many benets delivered by social mediaare not easily measured in dollars and cents.
Marketers can and should measure nancial return butcannot overlook other vital measures o social media success and contribution.Brands that sell directly to online consumers can easily match social media tactics to nancialoutcomes, but what about brands that do not sell directly? Some marketers try to use proxies toassign nancial value to nonnancial metrics such as likes, ollowers, retweets, blog comments, andpositive reviews. For example, a brand might calculate the advertising or PR value o impressionsmade in a newspaper ad or article and then apply this same value to impressions on witter. But thistype o proxy carries risks that include:
Failing to measure true business value.
Assigning a value to a an on Facebook is problematicbecause ans have little innate value; it is what brands do with their ollowers — not merely that they have them — that creates value. A mass o ollowers that “like” the brand but neverreturn to the an page is ar less valuable than a handul o ollowers who requently share brandupdates with riends.
Getting in the way o achieving objectives.
For example, a brand that sets out to increaseunaided awareness may implement a strategy to grow witter ollowers via a social mediasweepstakes. But i the brand only counts ollowers, hashtags, and retweets while ailing tomeasure i consumers recall the brand when asked in the appropriate context, it cannot know i the program achieved its original marketing objective.
Arriving at an incorrect value or social eorts.
While it is tempting to take the costs and values rom other channels and apply them to social interactions, this can result in inaccurate value outcomes. For example, a marketer wishing to ascertain the value o trac rom a socialsite may apply the Cost Per Click rom a Google AdWords campaign to each visit received romwitter, but unless both channels produce equivalent conversions and deliver consumers o equal value, this value calculation will be inaccurate.
Failing to attribute results to those channels and investments that deliver the results.
Socialmedia marketing is not limited to social networks or even online channels. PepsiCo supportedits social media program, Pepsi Reresh Project, with a television campaign to drive awarenesso the program and trac to the Pepsi microsite. With oine, online, and social strategiesincreasingly integrated, attributing value to the “last touch” on social networks can result inundervaluing other marketing vehicles.