Waiting for B2B Social Media Return on Marketing Investment
Investment parting is such sweet sorrow for B2B marketing managers seeking quick returns on social media marketing investment. But as a certain 16th century playwright once said, “Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast.”
This adage also applies to social media marketing return-on-investment.
The excitement surrounding the social media revolution has prompted many B2B companies to enter the fray, many without a plan to measure its effectiveness. The inherent complexity and time span of a typical B2B sale can blur the lines of ROI. Blog comments, RTs and increased unique website visitors provide a false sense of return. Seeing friendly blog post comments and watching your informative tweets go around the world is exciting, but are, alas, just non-financial effects. The real measure of return is in transactions and closed sales.
There is a cumulative nature to social media that can influence decision-making and, in turn, a sale. Just like hearing recommendations from multiple colleagues can influence a purchase, the collective character of social media can broaden awareness, heighten influence and, overtime, prompt buying decisions.
Like traditional media, note your analytics before beginning social media marketing activities. You must know your stats when you begin to compare them over time.
- Note the expenses for people, time and technology.
- Track your beginning website stats, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook fans and blog subscriptions.
- Watch these stats in 90-day increments.
- Compare year-over-year financials at the same90-day increments.
Because the large scale of one B2B sale can provide the return of a 180-day or even a year-long social media campaign, maintenance is key. Keep your social media content fresh and relevant, and your promotion activity high. Wisely and slowly, and you’ll realize your ROMI.
Have you found your social media ROMI? Please share your experiences.