We hear all about how important videos are. They decrease the bounce rate of a page. They catch a visitor’s attention. Just look at Youtube’s popularity – videos must be important, right? Sure, videos are important, but I think in the quest for the latest and greatest thing (videos in this case), we forget about what works, and has worked for decades – images.

Think images are too old school? Just think about this for a second. Pinterest, which is completely centered on images, is now the third most popular social networking site. Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion (yes, that is billion with a B) despite the fact that it is not really a money maker. And, Facebook has just changed the whole layout of their site to the timeline emphasizing what? Yep, images. So now that I have your attention, check out the infographic below, produced by the always cool MDG Advertising.

images infographic

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Last week we started the Learn Social Media series, listing the 10 most common questions that marketers ask in regards to social media. Today we are tackling question number 1, which is How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business? ROI is huge when trying to figure the effectiveness of a new campaign, but how do you measure the ROI of something like social media? And do you have to measure ROI to determine if social media is effective? Let’s take a look below.

Why Companies Are Using Social Media

First, let’s think about why companies are using social media right now. As this is the number one question that marketers have about social media, obviously it is not because they know that it is working. Most businesses seem to be using social media for one of two reasons. Either they know that this is the way that people are communicating today and they want to embrace the new trend, or they know that their competitors are doing it so they figure that they should too. Neither make a compelling argument in a world where the bottom line rules, so how do you justify using social media as a part of your marketing strategy?

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness

One question that has to be asked here is, how do you measure effectiveness? What does it mean to be effective? I would define it as meeting a preset goal. So what should the first step in any social media campaign be? Setting a goal, or coming up with objectives. Think about what you want to accomplish using social media. MDGadvertising has broken it up into 7 possible objectives for social media, and I’ll list them down below.

  • Short-term sales
  • Engage existing customers
  • Brand awareness
  • Increase your searchability
  • Complement promotional campaign
  • Encourage word of mouth
  • Spread news and important information about your business

So, when thinking about measuring the effectiveness of social media, you have to have in mind what you want to accomplish before you start your campaign. When you have this in mind up front, you have something to measure. If you want to engage existing customers, you can set a goal and you can measure whether you have achieved it. If you want to have 50 new fans per week, that is easy to measure.

The Elusive ROI:

I don’t want to shortchange the importance of ROI, because you have to decide if it is worth it to your business to spend the time that it takes to do social media right. So how do you figure ROI? That get’s a little bit more complicated… Radian6 has a pretty helpful infographic that talks about social media and ROI, you can take a look at it below.

learn social media infographic

They have a pretty handy little formula for finding the ROI of social media, but for it to work, you need to be able to put a value on the benefit of what you are getting from your social media. So, let’s go back to the Facebook fans example. If you know what a Facebook fan is worth to your business (it takes some testing, but it is possible to figure out) you can easily plug that into this formula and come up with an accurate ROI for all of your social media efforts. Granted, some objectives are harder to determine a value of, but that is true in other forms of marketing as well. How do you put a price on talking to every customer that comes into your store? Yet that is a strategy that many businesses swear by.

Measuring ROI Conclusion:

What it all comes down to is that you need to have an objective beforehand, try to put a value on the benefit provided by accomplishing that objective, measure the results, plug them into the formula, and you will be able to measure the ROI of any social media campaign.

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Pinterest? What’s The Big Deal? – Infographic

May 1, 2012
Pinterest Infographic

So, I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard of Pinterest by now. It has gone from an idea to the third most popular social media site in only 25 months! That is unheard of growth, and some studies are showing that it is great for marketing too. Why, you ask? Well take a look at this [...]

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Learn Social Media – 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

April 25, 2012
Business Owners Can Learn Social Media

I was reading through the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, from the Social Media Examiner,and there was a section that was just begging to become my first blog series called Learn Social Media. The section of the report is called Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered, and today I will be introducing [...]

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Customer Service and Social Media – A Match Made In Heaven?

April 18, 2012
social media and customer service

Was reading an interesting post over at Rev Media Marketing about how social media and customer service go hand in hand and it got me thinking about my personal interactions with companies through social media. I have had terrible experiences turn into positive ones through the personal interaction of a business owner, and I have [...]

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Think You Know Your Market? – 7 Key Findings From A New Study On Millennials

April 16, 2012
6 Types Of Millennial Customers

I like to keep up with research on customers, since dealing with customers is kind of what I do. I found a study on millennials and their habits as consumers. You are probably aware, but millennial is the term for people between the ages of 16 and 34 and they are, for obvious reasons, a [...]

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Social Media Infographic

April 13, 2012
Social Media Report Infographic

I am a sucker for infographics, like so many others seem to be given their popularity. I was browsing through my usual social media channels looking for something to report, and I came across a very interesting study done by the always insightful Social Media Examiner. I was taking notes on how to report the [...]

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Google Is The Monster of Local Traffic – Infographic

February 26, 2012
googleisthemonster

Everyone knows that Google is the most popular search engine, but it is also the biggest source of traffic for small business websites. Check out this infographic that show just how big Google is in the local business world.  

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Email Marketing Strategies – How to Make It Work For Your Small Business

February 20, 2012
email marketing strategies

Email marketing strategies, like search engine optimization strategies, are always a big topic of conversation whenever I talk to small business owners. The consensus is that business owners know that email marketing is something that they should be doing, they don’t know much about it. So here are some reasons that you should all have [...]

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On Page Search Engine Marketing Strategies

February 16, 2012
search engine marketing strategies

Most business owners know how to run their business, but when it comes to search engine marketing strategies,  and marketing ideas for small business in general, they usually need some help.  I heard a great analogy the other day, that Google is like a giant filing cabinet and they have a file folder for each [...]

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