Social Media ROI Study

Social media marketing is maturing. Research results are beginning to reflect the shift, as well. For instance, the 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report from MarketingSherpa found that the overall average social media ROI reported by CMOs who are measuring it is a whopping 95 percent. What’s more, nearly one-third (30 percent) of those in the survey reported a ROI of at least 150 percent!

That’s a dramatic shift from MarketingSherpa’s first benchmarking report in 2009. Back then, soft objectives such as building customer awareness were key, and marketers said they were having a tough time demonstrating any ROI from social media, at all.

Plenty has changed in just a few short years. For its latest report, MarketingSherpa polled 3,342 consumer and B2B marketers, giving us valuable insights about how they are using social media to engage audience, build brand, generate leads and drive sales. In other key findings, the data showed that:

Developing social media strategy and proving ROI remain top challenges. When survey participants were asked which were the most frustrating challenges to social marketing effectiveness, the top five responses were: developing an effective and methodical social marketing strategy (55 percent), achieving or increasing measurable ROI from social marketing programs (54 percent), converting social media members, follower, etc. into paying customers (45 percent), achieving or increasing measurable lead generation from social marketing (37 percent) and increasing website traffic through social media integration (36 percent).

For those who are measuring it, social media is showing positive ROI. Based on the survey results, The overall average ROI reported by CMOs who are measuring it is 95 percent. One-quarter said they have achieved 100 percent ROI. Higher percentages were reported, too. Twelve percent said they have achieved 200 percent ROI; two percent reported 1,000 percent ROI.

We have one real estate client who reports two known buyers who came to her via Social Media, and if she had to calculate an estimated ROI from those two home buyers versus what she’s paid for her Social Media presence, it might range in the 5000 percentile, or higher.

Unfortunately, many are still looking for that “quick fix.” MarketingSherpa did a nice job cross-tabulating response data to show that marketers who are new to social media tend to focus on “fast and easy” tactics (social sharing button on email/websites, e.g.) rather than on those that show a much higher level of effectiveness (blog relations, SEO, e.g.). More advanced social media marketers work from a strategic plan and know that often the most difficult and time-consuming tactics are worth the extra effort because they are the most effective.

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We have taken that pain-staking time element out of the mix for our clients who utilize our hands-off Social Media Marketing package. For those clients who value their time more than a few dollars to have someone else managing all of their Social Networking, the services we offer is a priceless commodity to them.

Social CRM is gaining momentum. Only six percent of those polled have fully implemented social customer relationship management (CRM), but more than half (56 percent) said their plan in either partially implemented or in the planning stage.

Social media allows us to reach consumers in new ways, and what’s more, a number of innovative tools enable us to track responses to campaigns more easily than ever before. With the right tools, marketers can gain valuable insights to make campaigns ever more relevant, even as they demonstrate real ROI and enhance accountability in the boardroom.

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If you are not utilizing our complete Social Media Package to its fullest potential, talk to us about how we can increase your ROI. We’re here to help! We’re also launching (4th quarter 2011) a complete marketing package that will not only include our complete Social Media Package, but SEO and Complete Business Marketing that will give local businesses more exposure across the Internet than even possible with Pay Per Click.  Details coming soon on that.