Calculating ROI in social media is a hot topic. As companies have rushed into the elusive social media marketing gold mine, many are left trying to figure out if all the time and effort is paying off.
The problem is that social media is extremely difficult to measure. In a former life, I worked as a financial analyst at P&G, and a big part of my job was to measure the ROI of our different marketing efforts. In calculating the return on traditional media, we often found that we couldn’t exactly calculate everything, so we resorted to some creative approaches.
There are many challenges to measuring the return from social media, most notably:
•Volume of social media activity isn’t always related to social media efforts. A provocative television spot or a new product launch can generate social media mentions that aren’t related to your specific social media efforts.
•The value of social media is more than just marketing and can involve product research, customer service, public relations, and consumer research. All of these benefits can’t easily be tied back to a sales number.
•Even what we can count isn’t always accurate. When measuring online, we often look at the last click that led someone to our website, and brands will look at traffic and possibly sales generated from social media sites. The problem is that we know in marketing that it takes up to seven touch points to build a brand impression, and only attributing the last click minimizes the role that other marketing tools played.
•Traditional metrics of reach don’t work well because the quality of impressions on social media sites can be very different. We measure traditional media based on reach or how many people are exposed to the message, but in social media, the message can range from positive to negative and from passive to highly involved, making it difficult to determine the value of each impression.
These are only a few of the challenges that you may face as a part of your social media marketing measurement. Creative Ways to Measure (or at Least Validate) Your Social Media Efforts Measuring ROI isn’t always an exact science (unless you have a large measurement budget based on complex modeling), but there are some approaches to measurement that can at least validate your efforts.
Read more: ClickZ
Microsoft Adding Social To Brand Display Ads For Guaranteed And Non-Guaranteed Inventory Says GM Creegan
As part of Social Media Week festivities in NYC, Microsoft Advertising announced what it’s calling “People Powered Stories.” Formally launching next month, the offering will begin by incorporating social commerce tech from Bazaarvoice and is the first step in Microsoft’s social display strategy.
Microsoft Advertising GM of Display Advertising Experiences, Jennifer Creegan said on the Microsoft Ad blog, “We believe it will give marketers the ability to create ads that tell powerful stories and create brand relevancy beyond just a ‘Like’ by adding the authenticity and believability of real people’s real stories.” Read more – and see examples.
Creegan and Brant Barton, GM, Media Solutions for Bazaarvoice, discussed the announcement and its implications with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: Can you talk about the significance of today’s announcement for Microsoft?
Jennifer Creegan: I would bucket it down into a couple of simple points. We are passionate about how we’re bringing social advertising to the entire marketing campaign. As we did research across both the consumer landscape and the marketer landscape, it became clear that there was a crossover need around word‑of‑mouth marketing, and specifically, ratings and reviews.
For us, the significance of this announcement is that we’re taking what we have been good at for a long time, which is interesting brand canvases across the digital ecosystem, and marrying that with our ratings and reviews content so that the marketer can have their story, and their consumer stories, tell a still more complete story, if you will, to potential customers. Bazaarvoice is our first partner in the People Powered Stories social framework.
Read more: AdExchanger