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Survey Says: Social Engagement Drives Improved 2013 ROI
Roberto Amaro 270006PURB firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  roi drives social engagement survay improved 2013 | 934 Visits
It is commonly expected that midsize companies will maintain a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and Twitter feed simultaneously, and should be willing to spend advertising dollars on all these forms of social media. But are they really worth the cost? According to new survey data, absolutely: 66 percent of companies defined their social engagement with customers as "extremely engaged" or "very engaged" in a recent survey. The numbers are looking up; how can midsize businesses keep this trend on pace?
Midsize companies are seeing improved return on investment (ROI) from social media marketing, according to a BIA/Kelsey study conducted in the third quarter of this year. Over 26 percent of those surveyed recouped 10 to 19 times their investment, while 19 percent saw over 20 times their initial investment come back in profit.
Over 50 percent of companies said they used a Facebook page for marketing and advertising, and Facebook ads ranked at number five in media channels used. Newcomers like Twitter and LinkedIn provided decent ROI but were used much less frequently, ranking at 31st and 43rd among media channels, respectively. What's interesting, however, is the perception of value—Facebook ads consistently garnered a higher perceived ROI, in large part because their results were easier to track than the response to Facebook posts or Tweets.
This is no surprise—midsize IT professionals are familiar with collecting and interpreting hard data, not the perceptive value of social engagement. It may be worthwhile to wait for the newer social networks to develop more robust reporting tools, but this kind of wait-and-see attitude can backfire if companies completely stop communicating with consumers on certain networks. Conscious consumers—those who pay careful attention to every move a company makes and its stand on various social issues—watch intently to see how a business deals with its customers on social sites.
Today's "committed consumers" don't just watch how companies interact with other businesses, customers and the environment, but are also willing to push for change, FastCoExist reports. Conscious consumers, a generation of which have been created by access to social media, are willing to shift brand loyalty if a favorite provider does something they don't like or refuses to acknowledge an environmental ill. Their committed counterparts, meanwhile, are willing to campaign for change through whatever avenues available, including social engagement channels. If committed consumers sound like a lot of work to satisfy, that's because they often are. They are also passionate advocates for whatever cause or company they believe in, making them stalwart champions of the business willing to listen—or change—as requested.
Part of convincing committed consumers to ally themselves with brands is effective social advertising. For midsize IT professionals, however, the goal isn't dreaming up new or cutting-edge marketing techniques, but rather ensuring consistency in messaging and measurement. Just like internal network access, there's an expectation that IT admins will gatekeep social business users to make sure they aren't overstepping their bounds when replying to a particularly difficult customer or advertising a new product feature.
In addition, they're tasked with drawing hard data from social interactions and using that data in boardrooms to recommend investments. As survey data shows, ROI is increasing, but not all social sites perform equally. It is not possible (or wise) to spend evenly across the board. For IT professionals, capturing committed consumers is about the beginning and the end of the social process: Is there consistency in what consumers see, and is there reliable data to back up perceived ROI?