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Do you measure your social media return on investment?

Is that return important to you and your business?

Social media ROI is one of the most heavily debated topics in the online marketing world. Why? Because measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing efforts isn’t as clear cut as, say, running a Google AdWords campaign. It’s hard to tell how much revenue a Tweet you sent out last week brought in, or if your last Instagram post boosted your bottom line.

And judging by the numbers, a lot of businesses are struggling to grasp the financial impact social media marketing is having for them. In a survey from Convince & Convert, 41% of companies said they had no idea whether or not their social media efforts were actually paying off.

A separate study gives some insight as to why companies aren’t measuring their social media ROI. This survey looked at some of the specific challenges companies are having when it comes to measuring the value of their social media marketing efforts.

  • 56% said an inability to tie social media to business outcomes
  • 39% said a lack of analytics, expertise and/or resources
  • 38% said poor tools
  • 35% said inconsistent analytical approaches
  • 30% said unreliable data

Facebook ROI

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA ROI?

The definition will depend on what your organization’s objectives are—brand awareness, revenue, customer satisfaction, etc. But generally speaking, social media ROI is the sum of all social media actions that create value. After all the time, money, and resources put in—what’s the return?

If you were measuring ROI by revenue, for example, a simple formula to do that looks like this:

Profit / total investment (people hours, ad budget, etc.) X 100 = social media ROI (as a percentage)

So, if you made $1,000 in revenue from social media on a $500 investment, your profit is $500 (remember: profit = revenue – investment). And then your calculation would be: $500 profit / $500 investment X 100 = 100% return on your investment.

Not every organization will be able to attribute revenue directly to social media. Value isn’t always measured in dollars and cents. Tethering the ROI of social media to such a narrowly defined objective prevents you from identifying the many other ways your investment in social is paying off.

If your goal is to drive brand awareness, you would measure success against metrics such as audience reach and engagement, not profit.

DEMYSTIFYING SOCIAL ROI

If you can’t show the value social adds to business and brand results, you’re at a disadvantage.

ROI isn’t just doing better on Facebook.

Boosting video views on Facebook or building a bigger Instagram audience might win awards. But it doesn’t (necessarily) correlate with higher revenue, lower costs, or compelling brand differentiation.

Every year, the effectiveness of traditional media declines. At the same time, the influence of everyday experts—like customer advocates, YouTube experts, and peers on social media—continues to climb and influence how consumers discover and buy.

ASKING A SMARTER ROI QUESTION

What’s the ROI of our social presence? It’s a common question. But one that keeps you stuck at guesswork.
To solve the ROI puzzle, you need to be specific about what you want to achieve with social media.
• What business challenges do you want social to help solve?
• How will you map your business objectives to social KPIs?
• Did you hit your quarterly business goals? If so, what contribution did social make?

Until you’ve answered those questions, it’s difficult to “prove” social media ROI.

1. Define
What do you want social to solve?

It’s your job to define the business objectives for every marketing channel—including social media.

Be clear that you expect social to help solve tangible business challenges such as beating revenue targets, lowering operational costs, increasing efficiency, differentiating your brand, or increasing customer satisfaction.

2. Measure
Is social moving you towards your business targets?

Next, set targets for the social team and get them to start tracking against those goals. Make these goals time-bound with clear targets (such as “social channels are expected to deliver 5,000 attendees to our yearly conference”). In this phase, you can now see if your social strategies are helping
you achieve real business outcomes.

For example, if your business goal is to increase customer loyalty, the social team should be tracking metrics like LTV attributable to social content and average shopping cart transaction value. If the goal is to reduce customer service costs, the social team can quantify call deflection cost savings by answering customer questions and sharing content on social.

As these KPIs are mapped to business objectives, it will be easy to keep your team’s eyes on the bottom line. If top-line sales have slipped but the social team sends you glowing reports of increases in Facebook traffic, it’s easy to see that social tactics and business outcomes have become disconnected.

Refine your social strategy and metrics to get back on course.

3. Prove
Did you hit your business goals?

You’ve defined what social can help solve. You’ve mapped social metrics to specific business outcomes. And now, because you’ve created a clear expectation for social media, you properly measure the value.
Frame your ROI analysis with three questions. Did your organization achieve your business goals (the ones you decided social could help solve)? If yes, what social tactics were successful in helping the company reach those goals?

If no, how can we tune our social strategy to hit these goals next quarter?

TOOLS TO HELP YOU

You probably noticed that you don’t have to use a ton of tools to do this. We’re keeping it scrappy and lean! Here’s a quick recap of the tools I’ve mentioned:

GOAL SETTING IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Setting up goals is going to be your first step in using Google Analytics to track your organic ROI. Goals are a way to have Google Analytics record conversions that are being generated from social media.

What are conversions? Conversions are an event that is triggered by a customer, audience member or fan following through with an action that you wanted them to take. Conversions can be anything from:

  • Buying a product
  • Signing up for an email list
  • Subscribing to your podcast
  • Downloading an e-book you wrote

This list could go on. Here’s a good blog post by Coschedule on how to:

Setting up goals in Google Analytics allow you easily track those conversions and prove to your team that the messages that you are sending out on your social media channels are driving your customers to take action.

A common headache

I’ll start with the stats. There are loads of studies which show that marketers struggle with measuring ROI from social media.

measuring_social

Obviously just because something is hard to achieve that doesn’t mean it’s impossible or not worth the effort, but equally it does mean those who manage budgets are within their rights to question whether social media is worth the money.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Once you have your stats in front of you, you can calculate your ROI and review the results of your marketing to see what worked and didn’t work. If you did paid advertising, that’s important to measure as well, because it relates to a specific cost.

Social Media ROI is Nothing But a Numbers Game: This article really defines the ongoing need for measuring ROI – no matter how frustrating it gets. Nichole Kelly, Social Media Explorer, talks about understanding the math, readjusting and retargeting.

Want examples of smart ROI campaigns? Read The ROI of Social Media: 10 Case Studies from The Next Web.

Sources: Hootsuite | CoSchedule | Social Media Examiner

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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3 Social Media Disruptors 700X400_Prepare1 Image

Marketing is anybody’s game, but it’s safe to say that not everyone is good at it. Are you?

Do you grip about heavily saturated social platforms and too many ads?

Did you survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday Frenzy

Adobe is crunching data on e commerce transactions, tracking 80 percent of online transactions for the 100 largest retailers. Per the firm, consumers spent $840 million through 10 a.m. Monday, equivalent to a 16.9 percent year-over-year growth.

Moreover, Adobe predicts that Cyber Monday 2017 will be the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever, with web traffic up 12 percent. In terms of mobile, smartphones and tablets make up 53.3 percent of traffic and 39.7 percent of revenue.

Message Overload

Retailers are notorious for sending out massive numbers of emails and notifications around the holidays that promote time-sensitive deals and this year was no exception.

On Black Friday alone, retailers sent nearly three billion emails, more than 82 million SMS and push notifications and collected 8.8 billion data points, like email sign-ups.

One gripe is that we now face heavily saturated social platforms, smarter shoppers, and big data that’s sometimes too confusing to be helpful.

But these “disrupters” are the very things that put us marketers in a great position; we’re far better equipped than before to predict user behaviors, analyze shopping habits, and understand our customers at a human level.

1. Heavily Saturated Platforms

Several years ago, millennials were at the center of attention. Now, we’re seeing Gen-Xers, the first of many generations to be born into a social-savvy world, come of age.

Social media has naturally become a noisy marketplace, complete with critics who bitterly accuse advertisers for “doing themselves in” with excessive advertising.

But the silver lining is that our consumers are online, and are increasingly reachable.

In fact, in 2016, 78% of Americans had social profiles and global social media use jumped by 21%.

share-of-us-population-with-a-social-media-profile-2008-2016

2. MEDIA = DISTRIBUTION DISRUPTION @TORRID PACE

  • Music = Why Streaming?

  • Access / Choice / Discovery / Personalization / Mobile / Fewer Ads

Reasons for streaming music

 Video = Why Cord-Cutting? Lower Price + Convenience

Cord Cutting Chart

Digital Evolution of Music + Video = Ramping Rapidly…

…Spotify = 20% of Global Music Industry Revenue vs. 0% in 2008

Spotify Subscribers

Spotify = Users Listen to 41 Artists per Week, +40% (vs. 1/14) Owing to…
Recommendation Engine (Data + Algorithms)

Spotify Artists Listened to per week

Network TV* Minutes Delivered = 2011 Top 5 Networks -10% Average…
Netflix +669% Over 5 Years, USA…

TV minutes vs Netflix

Netflix = Catalyst for Internet-Driven Evolution of Video Industry…
95MM Streaming Subscribers in 10 Years…

Netflix Subscribers Revenue

Google Pioneered Search / Find / Obtain (SFO) for Content + Products…
Netflix + Spotify Pioneered Search / Find / Serve Up (SFS) for Media

Netflix vs Spotify

Digital Evolution of Music + Video = Multiple Approaches…

Facebook / Instagram / Snap = Mobile Video Traffic Share Gainers Over 4 Years…

Facebook Video Traffic

…Netflix / YouTube = Fixed-Access Video Traffic Share Leaders

Facebook Video Traffic

Facebook (Facebook / WhatsApp / Messenger / Instagram) = Video Ramping Across Platform

Facebook Monthly Users Growth

Generational Media Usage = Chasm Increasing…
Shifts to Internet-Enabled Media Continue

Mobile Device Time per Day = +2x Over 2 Years…

Time spent digital vs analog

…Mobile Device Time per Day = 18-24 Year-Olds @ 49% Digital…65+ Year-Olds @ 13%, USA

What this clearly shows is the generations that grew up with analog vs digital are driving their daily viewing habits, however digital is growing in all age demographics.

Time spent digital media by age

Media Evolution (1950-2017) = Market of Millions  Market of One x Millions

Network Era into Digital Era Chart

Media = Distribution Disruption @ Torrid Pace

1) Digital Leaders = Transforming Media With Better User Experiences + Lower Prices…Data + Scale
2) Generational Media Usage = Chasm Increasing as Shifts to Internet-Enabled Media Continue
3) Traditional Cable Conundrum = Channels + Consumer Prices + Programming Cost Rising…Subscribers Falling
4) Digital Subscriptions = Rising Owing to Massive User Experience Improvements (On-Demand / Selection + Choice / Personalization /Payment Systems / 2-Way UGC / Mobile…)

SMALL RETAILERS NAIL MOBILE

Surprisingly, it’s not big brands that are driving mobile conversions. According to Adobe, websites from small retailers that make $10 million or less convert twice as much as bigger retailers that make $100 million or more.

During Small Business Saturday, which encourages consumers to shop from local merchants, mobile traffic hit 56.7 percent of total web traffic, indicating that smaller retailers are providing easy-to-navigate and simple mobile sites.

So where do we go from here?

  • How do we reach our audience via social media?
  • What resonates with the different generations?

3. THE KEY IS PERSONALIZATION

While plenty of marketers still miss their targets, one Nielsen expert notes: “[Digital advertising] is more precise than traditional media and performance is improving all the time, particularly on mobile whose superiority in reaching narrower audiences reinforces its status as the most highly personal ad medium.”

Your customers actually expect ads to be personalized to them, influenced by how social media is already algorithmically wired to revolve around their tastes.

And so, personalization is crucial for you success and relies on several ingredients:

  • An understanding of your target persona (the “who”)
  • A knowledge of how to appeal to your user’s distinct wants and needs
  • Knowing where to post
  • Knowing when to post
  • Knowing how to post (e.g., What language should you use? Do you use visuals, writing, video, or a combination to communicate your message?)

But there’s no on-step formula to reaching your customer, and it’s wishful thinking to be 100% accurate. Your marketing strategy will require lots of testing to become good enough, and then better.

However, a good place to start is by gathering the data that you have on your customer right now and to start benchmarking key metrics.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

 

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Business Digital Transformation 700X400_Prepare1 Image

What is this digital transformation people keep talking about?

How does that affect me and my business? Career?

With every new opportunity for businesses to evolve, there are significant challenges. How companies address them will determine their growth and progress through the Six Stages.
Each year, in addition to assessing key opportunities, executives share the top challenges they currently face in their digital transformation efforts.

In the 2016 research, the top business challenge was understanding evolving customer behavior.

Executives said that they struggled most with understanding new connected customers’ behaviors, which subsequently was the top driver for digital transformation efforts: “evolving customer behaviors
and preferences.”

ALL COMPANIES ARE BECOMING TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES

Corporate innovation is vital to uncovering new means and opportunities to better compete.

There are many current trends across business and technology landscapes that point to digital transformation’s shift away from marketing and toward the IT organization. As digital transformation matures within a business, the investment, implementation, and management of new technologies is destined for CIOs and IT. At the same time, businesses face a wave of disruptive technologies fated for implementation in every part of a company’s technology ecosystem. These disruptive technologies — AR, VR, AI, machine learning, big data, blockchain, IoT, and conversational commerce — require technical ownership and skillsets to design and implement new solutions.

Faster and faster, all types of businesses are becoming technology companies. In the inaugural 2014 digital transformation report, Adam Brotman, Starbucks’ executive vice president of global retail operations and partner digital engagement, shared that Starbucks “acts like a consumer technology company” when it comes to its digital strategy. He advised other companies to do the same.

Fast-forward to July 2017, when Starbucks’ Chief Strategy Officer Matt Ryan discussed the scope of its ever-broadening technology strategy as part of the company’s post-earnings call.

“This fundamental modernization of our technology stack will replace legacy rewards and ordering functionality with the new, scalable, cloud-based platform for rewards and ordering, improved customer data organization, and tighter integration with store-based operating systems, including inventory and production management,” Ryan said.

As digital transformation matures, many more companies are exploring innovative technology as an enabler for new customer- and employee-driven initiatives. Domino’s Pizza also cites its current trajectory and success by becoming a technology company that also makes and delivers pizza around the world. Domino’s Pizza Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Patrick Doyle shared lessons about making radical change to traditional business models at a 2016 CEO summit titled How to Transform a Legacy Company Into a Technology-Enabled, Nimble, Category-Disrupting Machine.

Domino’s prioritizes investments in technology and expertise to emphasize innovation in pizza delivery. As a result, it hired 400 software and analytics professionals to explore application improvements and new delivery capabilities, such as drones, autonomous cars, and mobile ovens.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS AN EFFORT TO AVERT “UH OH”

The remaining drivers should not go unnoticed, as they tell the complex story of how businesses are reacting to digital Darwinism, the survival of the most adaptable in the evolution of technology and its impact on markets and people’s behaviors.

Digital Darwinism

Most businesses just react to market shifts and trends, making them early in their digital transformation. However, 36.9% surveyed seem prescient because they treat digital transformation as a proactive investment for adapting to market disruption before it’s too late.

Getting ahead of digital transformation is a promising trend. Most companies react to change in one of two ways, either ahead of trends (“a ha”) or in response to the effects of change (“uh oh”).

In what may be a sign of “uh oh” moving to the forefront, 16.7% of survey participants cited a decline in business performance as their reason for pursuing digital transformation.

Digital transformation is a game-changer. Like every market disruption, it requires companies to shift perspectives and invest in modern proficiencies and talent. Yet, unfortunately, only 20.3% of businesses view “the lack of expertise, literacy, and understanding of digital trends” as a driver for digital transformation.
While customer experience is often cited as a focal point for initial digital transformation, the same digital factors affecting customers also influence employees. This year, the updated survey was to track the growing importance of employees in digital transformation. In 2017 “employee behaviors and preferences” shares the top spot as a primary factor driving digital transformation. Expect employee engagement and experience (EX) to grow in importance in 2018 and 2019.

KEY DRIVERS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

By design, CIOs/CTOs manage enterprise-wide technology initiatives. In comparison, CMOs historically have focused on marketing, sales, and customer experience. These executive roles are evolving. No role, either independently or collectively, can successfully design and implement digital transformation strategies based on legacy or silo-based perspectives, risk-averse decision-making, or internally-focused initiatives.

This year, 64.6% of businesses interviewed are prioritizing “evolving customer behaviors and  references” as a key driver for digital transformation. This is up from 55% in 2016.
In 2014, we consistently found advanced companies centered their efforts on customer engagement and experience. Doing so helped them concentrate on initiatives and investments that drove business value, demonstrated impact, and introduced opportunities to collaborate across a company’s departmental silos.
Competitive pressures and new markets rank as the second and third drivers of digital transformation. These rankings reveal the urgency within companies to optimize operations and innovate.
Companies surveyed in 2017 are simultaneously experiencing increased competitive pressure (54.2%) and growth opportunities in new markets (46%).

TOP CHALLENGES FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

With every new opportunity for businesses to evolve, there are significant challenges. How  companies address them will determine their growth and progress through the Six Stages.
Each year, in addition to assessing key opportunities, we ask executives to share the top challenges they currently face in their digital transformation efforts.

In the 2016 research, the top business challenge was understanding evolving customer behavior. Executives said that they struggled most with understanding new connected customers’ behaviors, which subsequently was the top driver for digital transformation efforts: “evolving customer behaviors and preferences.”

So what was the most surprising result from the digital transformation study?

“What surprised us most is just how far behind companies are in their digital transformation efforts,” Solis said. “In fact, when executives benchmark the status of their efforts against our maturity model, ‘The 6 Stages of Digital Transformation‘, they consistently peg themselves further along than they really are.”

There is a shift in power when it comes to digital transformation.

Top Challenges for Digital Transformation

Lack of digital literacy and expertise anchors digital transformation to the past.

Not everyone understands digital. Businesses and their change agents still face monumental challenges to achieve successful digital transformation. It’s difficult for many executives and colleagues to “get” and, therefore, prioritize digital initiatives ahead of personal agendas. Our 2017 study exposes this issue, which will become increasingly visible during the next two years. “Low digital literacy or expertise among colleagues and leadership” leads the list of challenges at 31.4%.

Many companies are not equipped to swiftly adapt to disruption.

Limited digital literacy and expertise will greatly restrain transformation, which requires a dedicated employee engagement program and signals the importance of Human Resources departments in future trends.

Though employee engagement is a critical challenge, it sits atop a long list of equally difficult challenges.

LOOKING FORWARD

Companies must look beyond digital technologies and drive business innovation with a human-  entered approach. People (customers and employees) and their preferences, behaviors, and expectations continue evolving when disruptive technologies impact markets. Additionally, companies must explore current and future technology trends to become technology companies in their own right.
The State of Digital Transformation — 2017 highlights the early evolution through the Six Stages maturity model. These times demand urgency and acceleration of their efforts. Innovation and change management are critical partners for digital transformation initiatives. The combination introduces new business and operation models to expedite and escalate change across the Six Stages.

SOURCE: Altimeter Group | Brian Solis

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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Facebook Organic Reach Declining, What Businesses Need to Know

by Blair Evan Ball November 13, 2017

Share8 Tweet Share8 +1 Stumble PinShares 16 Business owners have noticed a decline in their organic reach have you? Were you aware that this is Facebook’s intended goal? Organic reach on Facebook is so in the past. Most unfortunate, but true. Facebook has long been a ‘pay-to-play’ platform for those businesses serious about optimizing all […]

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Internet and Mobile Trends for Business

by Blair Evan Ball November 7, 2017

Share1 Tweet Share +1 Stumble1 Pin12Shares 14 Will the pace of business slow down or speed up over the next 5 years? Will mobile and the internet play a more prominent role in marketing? The web is always growing and changing to suit, and even to shape, the needs of consumers. Their tastes and online […]

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Video Marketing for Small Business – Infographic

by Blair Evan Ball November 1, 2017

Share5 Tweet Share8 +1 Stumble1 Pin1Shares 15 Are you using video in your business or holding off? Did you know how this is impacting your business? For years now, you’ve been hearing that video marketing for small business is on the rise. Really for all business. Video trend keeps moving forward. Take a look at […]

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Facebook Is Testing A ‘Pay-To-Play’ Model

by Blair Evan Ball October 25, 2017

Share5 Tweet Share2 +1 Stumble1 Pin3Shares 11  Have you noticed another drop in your organic reach? Were you aware that Facebook made another change to their algorithm? If you do Facebook marketing, one thing that you might want to understand is the Facebook algorithm. This could be the “Nightmare Scenario” For Publishers: Facebook Testing A ‘Pay-To-Play‘ […]

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The Power of Positive Self-Expectancy

by Blair Evan Ball October 11, 2017

Share1 Tweet Share2 +1 Stumble1 PinShares 4 Do you find yourself fighting the negative things in life? Is it becoming harder and harder with all the negative news? DID YOU KNOW? You can create a new optimistic way of life today! Positive self-expectancy is the first, most outwardly identifiable quality of a top-achieving, winning human […]

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Key Drivers of the Coming Digital Transformation

by Blair Evan Ball October 6, 2017

Share1 Tweet Share6 +1 Stumble PinShares 7 Are you ready for the digital transformation taking place? Would you like to know what’s coming? Do you have the endurance to keep up? All companies are operating faster and faster, and all types of businesses are becoming technology companies. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide use smartphones […]

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How to Use the Best Facebook Live Tools

by Blair Evan Ball September 19, 2017

Share6 Tweet Share3 +1 Stumble3 PinShares 12 Wondering what  desktop software and  tools you need to produce a GOOD Facebook Live show? Looking for a guide to tech setup and pre-show production? In this post you’ll learn about Facebook Live Video tools that can help you improve the video and audio quality of your Facebook Live Videos. […]

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