One of the biggest challenges social media has faced in its bid to gain a greater share of the digital marketing pie has been its lack of quantifiable measures, showing a return on investment for marketing dollars spent. This void in the social media mecca has invited innovative ways to calculate those measurements and provide the data needed to support the appropriation of marketing funds into the social media arena.
Two of the most well-known among these innovative providers, Simply Measured and Inside Social, merged recently, when Simply Measured acquired Inside Social. The acquisition and integration of these two leaders in social analytics is creating a stir in the social media marketing industry. To understand what all the fuss is about, we need to take a serious look at each company individually and understand the uniqueness of what they were bringing to the industry on their own.
In statements released by Simply Measured CEO, Adam Schoenfeld, he has indicated that the merger of the technology used by the two companies will create “the perfect combination” for addressing the challenge of measuring social ROI.
Simply Measured is headquartered in Seattle, the center of the technology industry in the Northwest. It was founded in 2010 by three guys who love data and the powerful influence it has, when properly harnessed. They realized that the huge flow of social data was running wild like a river that had overflowed its banks. It just needed to be channeled into an appropriate measuring tool so that marketers could utilize this avalanche of data in their marketing decisions. With this, the Simply Measured social analytic tool was born.
The social analytics provided by Simply Measured was giving marketers new insight into the activity that was being generated through social posts and interaction. When Inside Social came along, a couple of years later, they saw the opportunity to provide the next step in the social analytics. Inside Social allowed marketers to track which of their social channels were creating the most shares and, more importantly, the most visits to their sites and conversions.
Social ROI: The Impetus to Meet the Challenge
Trust Radius created their 2015 Social Media Marketing Trends report based on the findings of a survey of 600 marketers. The survey, commissioned by Simply Measured provided evidence that determining the ROI from social media marketing was still the biggest challenge marketers where facing in the social arena. 60% of respondents listed this as one of their top 3 challenges. Tying social activities to business outcomes was listed almost as high, with 50% of those surveyed listing it in their top three. These two challenges are very closely tied together, since you need to be able to tie social activities to business outcomes in order to determine a true return on investment for your dollars.
Simply Measured was providing part of the equation necessary to meet this challenge with their tracking and analytics. Inside Social was providing another part. They tracked social interaction to determine which social channels, paid and unpaid, were most likely to generate traffic that could convert into revenue. By integrating the tracking and analytics of Simply Measured with the extended tracking provided by the Inside Social system, Simply Measured hopes to provide a more complete package to the large number of marketers who have not been able to provide solid ROI numbers to justify their social marketing budgets.
Calculating Your ROI
In reality, it isn’t just social media marketing that isn’t being tracked in such a way that an ROI can be calculated. The B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America report produced by the Content Marketing Institute shows that only 21% of those surveyed felt their company was successful at tracking the ROI for their content marketing strategies. That percentage went up to 35% for companies that had a documented content marketing strategy. Of 13 different types of content cited, social media content was the most popular form of content marketing, used by 92% of those surveyed as one of their content marketing strategies.
There are three necessary ingredients in determining the ROI of any marketing strategy:
- Document what your strategy is and how much each piece costs.
- Measure and record the data based on the strategy.
- Calculate the costs per customer acquisition and the lifetime value of a customer and compare it against the potential revenue generation through those costs.
The challenge with social marketing ROI has been tracking the number of conversions resulting from various social marketing funnels. Simply Measured believes they’ll be able to provide a one-source solution to this elusive metric once they have integrated the Inside Social solution with their own analytics.
The marketing community will be watching and waiting to see if they can truly deliver what so many in management circles have been asking their marketing departments to provide – proof that social marketing really is a profitable investment and not just a deep wishing well that their dollars are disappearing into. credit-n.ru
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