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Te demand has never been greater or marketers to validate and measure the benets delivered by
their increasing investment in social media. Marketers oen rame this question as, “What is the ROI
(return on investment) o social media?” but nancial metrics are just one way o evaluating social
media marketing programs. Social media marketing delivers a wide range o benets to organizations
that are benecial in the short term and long term in ways both quantitative and qualitative. o properly
value the impact o their social media marketing investments, interactive marketers must align their
objectives, metrics, targets, and strategies across our perspectives — the nancial perspective, the
digital perspective, the brand perspective, and the risk management perspective.
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Marketing investment in social media is increasing, yet marketers continue to struggle with the
methodologies or validating these investments. In the absence o standardized best practices, some
turn to ROI as a means o proving social contributions, but many benets delivered by social media
are not easily measured in dollars and cents.1 Marketers can and should measure nancial return but
cannot overlook other vital measures o social media success and contribution.
Brands that sell directly to online consumers can easily match social media tactics to nancial
outcomes, but what about brands that do not sell directly? Some marketers try to use proxies to
assign nancial value to nonnancial metrics such as likes, ollowers, retweets, blog comments, and
positive reviews. For example, a brand might calculate the advertising or PR value o impressions
made in a newspaper ad or article and then apply this same value to impressions on witter. But this
type o proxy carries risks that include:
because 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 never
return to the an page is ar less valuable than a handul o ollowers who requently share brand
updates with riends.
unaided awareness may implement a strategy to grow witter ollowers via a social media
sweepstakes. But i the brand only counts ollowers, hashtags, and retweets while ailing to
measure i consumers recall the brand when asked in the appropriate context, it cannot know i
the program achieved its original marketing objective.
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 social
site may apply the Cost Per Click rom a Google AdWords campaign to each visit received rom
witter, but unless both channels produce equivalent conversions and deliver consumers o
equal value, this value calculation will be inaccurate.
media marketing is not limited to social networks or even online channels. PepsiCo supported
its social media program, Pepsi Reresh Project, with a television campaign to drive awareness
o the program and trac to the Pepsi microsite. With oine, online, and social strategies
increasingly integrated, attributing value to the “last touch” on social networks can result in
undervaluing other marketing vehicles.
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