Are you Listening? ROI & Marketing’s New Role

October 15, 2008 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

The first day of the Boston New Marketing Summit has left my brain swimming with ideas. More than showing what media platforms are available, speakers discussed the next stage of this trend: Organized and Tracking Information. One of the great ideas covered today:

Content may be King but Conversion is Queen.

Social media marketers are well versed in the idea of reaching their audience by creating strong and insightful content. Different from traditional advertising and marketing, with social media you can’t just  ‘megaphone broadcast’ your message. You have to engage your audience and one way to do this is by creating the content that gets people to listen.  (We knew this though, right?)

What one great presenter (who’s name I unfortunately can’t recall) pointed out was that without conversion, content means nothing. In other words, if people aren’t listening, what you say means diddly. And if people don’t care enough about what you have to say to read more, to buy you product or to pass your content along to a friend, you might as well keep your mouth shut.

Because marketing is, and always has been, about using numbers to judge success. (i.e…)

R O I

A general theme of NMS08 DAY 1 was: ROI. What does it mean for social media? Can we measure it and if so, on what terms?

So why don’t we automatically assess the ROI of social media. According to today’s presentations, it’s because, when social media first came into play as a marketing tool, it was used primarily as a bonus feature: an extra/add-on to a traditional marketing plan. But as Web 2.0 platforms grew, so did the role of social media in marketing. (Fast forward to today.) Social media is everywhere. It’s totally unavoidable. For some, social media is merely inevitable. For many, it has become the dominant force of their campaign. So we have to measure it’s success, right? But how?

As many of today’s presenters pointed out, measuring ROI for new media campaigns is much easier than we seem to think. There are numbers that we can record. There are footprints that we can track. Here are a few of the ideas for measuring ROI for social media that were discussed today:

  • Website hits
  • CTR on an web ad or email campaign
  • Comments on a blog or online article
  • Digs
  • Google rating for related searches
  • Links to (or articles about) by bloggers, twitterers, etc.

In reality, social media creates a web of information that stretches far beyond the spot that content is first posted, and each (most?) strand of the web can be tracked. We can see who’s blogging about it, who’s tweeting it, who’s mocking it on youtube, who’s imitating it on facebook, who’s passing it on through flicker, and who’s digging it. But here’s the key: It takes a knowledge of social media – a truly invested party who’s an active part of the conversation – to follow the path. 

Which leads us back to content. A true social media player watches, listens, and actively participates in the conversation. They pay attention to where and how their content is being converted, and react to the conversion. Social media is in constant flux, and it takes a true listener not just to be a part of the conversation but to evolve with it.

So, are you listening?

______________________________

And finally, I have to give a huge thank you <THANK YOU!> to Chris Brogan. Chris, who I first connected to on Twitter, made going to NMS08 possible for me. He’s a great presenter and has organized a truly wonderful event. Thanks for letting me be a part of it, Chris.

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Entry filed under: social media. Tags: , , , .

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