Today's marketers are asking about the value of social media marketing. As a Los Angeles social media marketing agency, we have researched this topic, and here are their top three questions:
1) Tell me what are the best practices of social media marketing?
2) What are the time management considerations with social media?
3) How can marketers measure the return on investment of social media marketing?
MarCom New Media has been doing social media networking since the beginning about six years ago. We believe that blogs and You Tube are the best practices thus far, although we are seeing pretty good results for corporate Facebook fan pages when done in conjunction with Pay per Click (PPC) ads on Facebook.
If you are still having a hard time believing that Twitter has much value other than for link-buliding links back to websites, join the club. However we do know for the food wagons, the construction workers who use it among their teams, and for crisis management, it works, oh and also for the emdia, and celebrities in the entertainment world. For many other businesses, maybe not.
Social media marketing is time consuming - period. This is where you need good writers, skilled at posting to the various social mediums. Social media may be best served when done by more junior staff members, so that senior management can take on strategies, marketing planning, meetings, and stressing about how we should be measuring it.
Last, many marketers are having a difficult time measuring the return on investment (ROI) from social media marketing. In fact, nearly 61 percent of marketers surveyed said their organizations' ROI measurement practices are poor, and 34 percent stated they are "very poor."
It seems that historically, PR has also always had a reputation for been difficult to measure. PR professionals have used the number of press articles (quantitative) and the messages that were written up (qualitative) as methods of measurement in the past, and the reality is that now PR can be measured through onine tools as well.
We will soon start seeing improved measurement capabilities built right into the tools, as search and social media tools are now being improved radically. However, MarCom did a year-end report for one medical devices client in January of 2010 after a big six month push with online marketing. We used many of the measurement tools in the social media services that we have been using use. Here's a sample of what we accomplished during that six month period:
The Value of Social Media Marketing (SMM)
63+ blog posts; 90 videos.
20+ Articles each spun over 30 times and syndicated on Web.
10 press releases; 3 consumer, 1 doctor; 1 pharmacist newsletter.
210 Twitter followers; 140 Twitter posts; 2,275 links
114 Facebook friends; 100 posts; Facebook ad ¡V $200 per mo. = average 384 visitors to website. Average cost per month $224. Average cost per visit 60 cents (which is cheap for PPC).
20 Diggs; 20 del.icio.us and many more.
Resulting in over 75,000 measurable, trackable views and visits at a cost of $1.66 (our fees). This compares most favorably with the cost of pay per click at $2.00 per visit, minimum. This is a savings to Wiley of over $25,000 for the six month period July 1-Dec 25, or $4,250 in savings per month.
Increase of 49,000 website visitors in 2009
Additional 11,500 visitors to videos in 2009
Additional 6,000 plus visitors to press releases
Additional 25,000 visitors to blog in 2009
6,412 additional visitors to articles in 2009
Additional 6 to 8,000 visitors to press releases in 2009
ADDITIONAL VISITORS 2009 vs. 2008: 105,912