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Mila D'Antonio | January 25, 2012

Blog Carnival: Calculating the ROI of Social Media

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In business, we don't use social media for the sake of being social; we leverage social media to grow our business. However, how can we determine whether a social media marketing or sales strategy is proving beneficial to our bottom line when many of us are still struggling to determine how to measure the success of our social efforts?

A survey report from Awareness released this month crystallizes this pain point. The study released the top areas for social marketing investment and the biggest social marketing challenges in 2012 in its survey report, "The State of Social Media Marketing." In the report, only half of the 320 respondents said they measure their programs' success. The majority of those marketers (76 percent), relied on flimsy indicators like reach (the number of followers), as a proxy for progress. This doesn't necessarily demonstrate long-term customer loyalty. Marketers would be more effective if they measure click-through and actions taken as a result of a specific social strategy.

In addition to reach, in 2011, 66 percent of respondents measured traffic from social sites to desired Web properties as an indicator of success; 53 percent reported monitoring social mentions of their brands across social sites; 40 percent measured the share of social conversations; and 38 percent tied lead generation activities to social efforts.

In 2011, marketers demonstrated a good jumping off point into establishing social media ROI, but in 2012 they are expected to turn the corner to proving the real value from their social initiatives by demonstrating sales, profits, engagement, customer retention, and satisfaction rates. This will require organizations to make the investments in social, dedicate knowledgeable staff and resources to social efforts, and establish clear ownership of social media strategies.

In 1to1 Media's social ROI blog carnival, I asked six social media thought leaders to share their views on this important topic: calculating the ROI of social media. Here, they offer tips, advice, and some simple math to help guide you on the right path to social media success.

1. Measuring the Impact of Social Media
--Becky Carroll, social media contributor, NBC San Diego; and author of "The Hidden Power of Your Customers"


2. Beyond Social Media ROI
--Susan Etlinger, analyst, social media analytics and strategy, Altimeter Group


3.The ROI of Social Media Is the CRV of Revenue Impact
--Paul Greenberg, CCO at BPT Partners, LLC; and owner of The 56 Group, LLC


4. Social Media Marketing: Do You Know Which Half is Working?
--Trip Kucera, senior research analyst, marketing effectiveness and strategy, Aberdeen Group


5. Getting the 411 on Social ROI
--Brent Leary, partner of CRM Essentials


6. What's the Right Question?
--Martha Rogers, founder, Peppers & Rogers Group

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