We just completed our TechTarget Online ROI Summit in San Francisco last week. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the main theme of the Summit revolved around the convergence of social media with your branding and lead generation activities, with specific focus on measurement and return on your investment in social media. To elaborate on this last point, we had a great panel with 3 of the industry’s top leaders in the world of Social Media. We had Paul Dunay, Chief Marketing Officer of Networked Insights, author of four “Dummies” books and author of Buzz Marketing for Technology, an award winning blog. We also had Jonathan Lister, VP of Marketing Solutions for LinkedIn and Gail Moody-Byrd, Sr. Director Community Network Marketing for SAP.
In a recent TechTarget media consumption study, we’ve determined that 98% of IT pros cite IT communities as an integral part of their search process, but 68% of companies don’t know or can’t measure if they received ROI.
In a recent Marketing Sherpa study*, 62% of CMO’s believe that social media is a promising tactic that will produce an ROI … eventually! They want to invest and are going to, but at this point, they will invest conservatively. And, only 3% cite that social media is unlikely to produce ROI. That says that Social Media is crucial to any marketing campaign.
So where does this lead us? How do you prove that your social media efforts are effective? Here are some great tips offered by Paul Dunay on how to generate ROI….
1. Use Social Media to create Community with your external customers
2. Use Social Media to provide Customer Support
3. Use Social Media to shift your PR from focusing on Publications to focusing on Conversations
4. Use Social Media to find Intent to Purchase Leads by using both competitive and non-competitive search terms to reveal buyers
5. Use Social Media to harness the power of your brand advocates by getting them to make recommendations and build your brand with the power of their voice.
So what’s the takeaway? Social media is a must buy as part of your marketing endeavors. Without it, you will be lost on a deserted island. It’s only getting stronger, better and more efficient as our experts have told us. If a company with very limited funding such as a non-profit organization, all the way to a large enterprise like SAP, feels that an investment in social is a must do, then join the bandwagon and make sure your social, branding and lead gen activities are fully integrated.
*2011 MarketingSherpa Social Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology Fielded February 2011.
** Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert, Chief Marketing Officer of Networked Insights, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies, Facebook Advertising for Dummies and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition. You can also find more on Paul’s industry outlook on the award winning blog Buzz Marketing for Technology