Effective social media strategy and execution varies based on the type of business you’re in (B2B or B2C) as well as the particular business vertical. Many marketers wonder if social media marketing is “right” for them, if they can be successful in social and how they’ll measure ROI. These are important considerations for any marketer to ask before engaging in a new strategy or channel.
To help provide insight and answer some of these questions, I want to share a couple of examples of real world Social Media Marketing cases with conversions and success metrics we’ve seen first hand. And while these examples may not answer your particular strategic or tactical needs, they may provide ideas on success metrics for different types of businesses as well as inspiration toward getting started in and measuring your social marketing efforts.
1. Internet Marketing Company - Business to Business (B2B)
Social Networking and Group Participation / Development on LinkedIn
This situation actually involves me in my role of business development at 10e20. Recently I was on LinkedIn and a member of one of my professional groups posted the following message to group memebers: “looking to speak with companies with special focus on social news and bookmarking to help develop traffic to publisher website.” (Paraphrased) As soon as I saw this (about 2 hours after it was sent) I sent a private message to this member requesting a phone call.
The call was set up and several weeks later we were doing business together. It’s likely that without participating in LinkedIn Groups, I would only have met this person offline at some date in the future, if at all. And, because I was prompt in responding through the LinkedIn system, it gave me a leg up on competitors who may have only heard about this through second hand word of mouth. The business lead was really quite targeted.
- 1 new business relationship
- B2B Sale for ongoing consulting relationship
- Consulting revenue
By joining LinkedIn, joining several groups and being helpful to the community by answering some questions, this was one of the CHEAPEST new business leads I have on record.
2. Lifestyle Magazine Website - An online Lifestyle Magazine + Blog Website, Publishing
Social News & Social Bookmarking
With a start up magazine/blog website that monetizes on traffic, impressions and cost per click (CPC) advertising, this publisher was working to develop new traffic and awareness of the website and its great content. Traffic was growing but with active participation in social bookmarking website StumbleUpon, and several other social news/bookmarking sites the new blog site accelerated its growth by having the content achieve rapid viral popularity.
The publisher has since built a sustainable ROI on time and investment in social marketing of content against advertising revenue. Also, hundreds of new backlinks to the website have been developed as a result of social media content promotion. The compounding effect of social news/bookmarking for this publisher is paying big dividends.
- Traffic: 10′s of thousands of visitors as opposed to hundreds.
- Clicks on CPC advertisements: thousands of dollars worth as opposed to pennies.
- Impressions for CPM advertising
- Links for SEO and site authority: hundreds of natural links instead of one “here and there”.
- Advertising revenue
Creating content is part of the publisher/magazine business model so the cost that has gone into social really comes down to time spent bookmarking and submitting content. The bookmarking efforts tally to a couple of hours per week. Advertising revenue from CPC ads tied to social visits far outpaces the time invested for social bookmarking. From this perspective the social media marketing is paying the business back many times over as most traffic is tracked to social media efforts. This is not even counting the link equity (for search value) being built back to the publisher’s domain.
3. Consumer Fashion Brand - Major Women’s Fashion Brand
Social Networking – Facebook, Twitter and more “profile” type sites.
A major national fashion brand with no social media presence worked over several months to establish a presence on social networking websites. Organic growth of their audience on these sites surged to 10′s of thousands of fans and followers; over 75,000 between 2 brands and 4 social accounts in just a couple of months.
Public discussion on social networking websites provided direct consumer feedback to the brands about how to improve their products and customer service. Additionally, social networking sites have provided a new channel to distribute deals messages increasing the foot traffic to key retail store locations for sales.
- several hundred thousand dollars in new sales in three months of marketing
- new audience for the brand, reaching new, interested fans of the brand and engaging them
- more direct and effective Public Relations
- more direct and effective responses to customer service issues
- direct consumer feedback for product development. 1 new product is in development after only 3 months in social media
The equivelent of one mid-level employee’s salary to run a dedicated social media presence, strategy and management has yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars in return in positive online brand sentiment, consumer feedback for product development and actual product sales both online and offline.
These are 3 simple and real world examples of social media conversion and ROI. One could go on and on with examples of positive social media marketing case studies. It’s important to note too that for every success case there are likely an equal amount of social strategies that were fumbled and not properly executed. With that, take stock of your current strategy by conducting regular audits, competitive analysis and measurement through analytics and benchmarking. If not you can become part of the road kill and believe me, the road is littered with companies that fumbled their strategy.
We’re curious to know: what have been some of your experiences and cases with identifying, measuring and benchmarking social conversions and success metrics?