Social Media and PR Efforts Have Indirect Impacts on Profits

Wednesday - 29 May 2013

Results from The CMO Survey reveal that companies are adopting voice-based metrics in social media, while attention to financial metrics is waning, Christine Moorman reports in Measuring Social Media ROI: Companies Emphasize Voice Metrics.

The study demonstrates that social media payoffs are unlikely to have a direct impact on company sales and profits, Moorman explains. Instead, they have a primary effect on non-purchasing behaviors that create brand exposure, build knowledge and ultimately prompt purchases.

The purpose of social media marketing, then, is essentially the same as PR. Its mainpurpose is to create awareness and nurture relationships. Social media often doesn’t have a tangible ROI, Peter Davanzo deduces in Measuring Social Media. Not matter what, businesses must “measure what matters,” to quote K.D. Paine, who outlines 7 Steps to the Perfect Measurement System. What matters most: Tying social media goals to your business objective. Analyze why social media was included in your overall marketing campaign, and consider how your social media program will impact business revenue, Rick Mulready implores in 3 Simple Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results.

While social media demands different metrics for each business, all business should be engaging in social media monitoring — the first, vital step in any measurement plan, Mulready says. Monitoring allows you to find the audience who is talking about your brand, engage with them, and then measure the impact of your engagement. This impact can be monetary (converting users to purchase a product) or, as The CMO Survey suggests is more common, increase brand awareness or ameliorate issues among consumers. That relationship-building will ultimately lead to purchases.

When it comes to choosing the metrics that matter to you, 7 Tips for Social Media Measurement advises that each selected metric should be specific to each social network. You can’t compare a fan with a follower or a retweet with a share, because each network has a different dynamic and level of engagement. The article also urges measurers to go deeper than numbers and try to understand your audience’s motives and intents.

Qualitative measurement should balance with quantitative, so “never place too much value on follower numbers at the expense of sentiment and support.” 9 Social Marketing Metrics that Actually Matter acknowledges that each metric will be unique, but offers a survey of leading entrepreneurs’ social media measurement strategies. Kit Hickey of Ministry of Supply reveals her company devised a unique “Facebook Engagement Ratio” that is tracked against their competitors. And while distribution to influencers is the center of one business’s social media strategy, others rely on audience loyalty to measure success.

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