MDGadvertising recently created this interesting little infographic around the ROI of Social Media marketing, based on data from a number of different sources.

A few things that really interest us on this topic.

First of all, have you noticed how we are far more laser-focussed on the ROI in Social Media than we’ve ever really been with so many other forms of traditional advertising, like billboards, TV, radio, etc.

I recently read a ROI analysis of a billboard campaign for a specific model of car, where they declared that around 4% of new cars sold during this campaign were a direct result of the billboards. How do they know? Well, they asked the new car buyers. Any problem with that? Only one. Chances are there were other factors that impacted on their decision to buy – word of mouth from a friend, seeing an ad in newspaper, reading a review in an auto magazine, etc. Sure, the buyer still believes it was the billboard that closed the sale but in reality it probably only helped influence and reinforce the buying decision.

Truth is, many of these traditional forms of advertising are really geared more to brand/product awareness rather than directly creating a call to action – ie: a sale.

This infographic seems to suggest that maybe, at least amongst the Chief Marketing Officers surveyed, we’re now realising that social media ROI should consider much more than the pure sales it generates. 96% of CMOs said they are starting to look beyond pure sales & web metrics when assessing the value of social media marketing.

The second key observation for us is the statistic that says only 11% of businesses surveyed have been using social media marketing for 3 years or more. This a pretty new thing. Probably fair to say that if 90% of business has been using social media marketing for less than 3 years, many are still only dabbling, trying to find the best ways to use the tools.

That leads right into our third and final observation, for which there really is no statistic given here. Execution! How well are businesses executing their social media marketing strategy? If a campaign fails, is it because the tools are simply no good OR is it because they’re not using the tools the right way?

A spoon is generally considered a pretty useful tool for eating soup from a bowl – but not if you use the wrong end!?!

FYI – you may think this is just a silly analogy but a mate of ours actually went through exactly this situation when opening a hotel 2 years ago in a very remote location and having to train the F&B staff.

Of course you need to measure and analyse all you possibly can about your social media marketing campaigns – but just be realistic about your expectations, especially if you’ve only been using it for a short time. Don’t expect immediate success. Do expect to have to play around a bit before you start getting it right. Don’t blame the tools – but don’t blame the tradesman either. Give them both a chance to find the best way to work together.

Just to complete the food utensil analogy… now try taking that spoon from a 2 year old and giving her a pair of chopsticks to eat her dinner. Sounds pretty messy, right? Let her practise for a few years and she’ll probably do just fine.

There you go. It’s all about Spoons & Chopsticks!?!

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