You’ve made the decision to fast-forward your marketing to the 21st century and establish social media accounts for your agency. Maybe you’re planning to grunt it out and establish and manage the accounts yourself; maybe you’re handing your social media marketing over to a colleague, an intern, or a contractor.
But whether you’re investing more time (by doing it yourself) or money (by paying someone else to do it) you are surely already mulling over The Big Question:
What will be my return on investment—and when can I expect to recoup it?
Seriously: it is a big question. For some companies, it’s a multimillion dollar question. And the answer is still a little hazy.
In fact, a Fast Company story refers to survey results spotlighted in an Adobe white paper. Of 750 marketing professionals surveyed, 88 percent didn’t feel they could accurately measure the effectiveness of those campaigns, with more than half of them claiming that their “biggest frustration” was trouble determining a true ROI.
You’re a salesperson. You already know that it takes multiple interactions to convert a prospect into a client. That’s still true when those interactions are taking place on Facebook or Twitter, via your blog or email newsletter, or through your website.
The good news is there are many ways to track your interactions on the internet. Website analytics can tell you everything from where your site visitors are surfing to how long they stayed—and what page they were on when they clicked away. It’s very simple to see the numbers of followers you have on any social media account, or how many subscribers you have on your blog.
The bad news is that big follower numbers do not necessarily translate into a high conversion rate. You may get hundreds of Likes on a viral video you share about a panda cuddling a puppy—but how many of those people who clicked Like will think of you, the panda-puppy-lover, when they’re looking for a better auto insurance rate?
Here’s the fact: 67 percent of a B2B buyer’s journey is digital. Your digital footprint has an impact on that buyer’s decision-making process.
You can tweak your social media content, the timing of your posts, even the platforms you’re posting on and how often. Your engagement levels may increase, and your followers may go up. But the ROI for your SMM may still be tough to calculate—at least, in dollars. In increased trust, stronger relationships, and a brighter reputation your ROI may be all too easy to estimate.