“You have to spend money to make money,” says the old adage. Long gone are the days of placing an ad in the newspaper and watching customers line up outside the store. In a world where influencers advertise our products, the modern marketer has to balance brand awareness with engagement, call to action and monetary return. When it comes to social marketing, measuring the success of campaigns can be tricky. But thanks to tools like the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index, that nut has become a lot easier to crack (read more about that here).
If you’re having a hard time calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) for a social campaign, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, over half of the marketers surveyed named “measuring ROI” as the number one challenge they face. In fact, only 9.4 percent of marketers said they were able to quantify the revenue driven by social media. One major reason for this challenge lies in the way we measure success. Unless your campaign is strictly to gain followers on a platform, detailed metrics of user behavior are required. Social media platforms vary greatly in which analytics they provide, which naturally leads marketers to feel more confident in numbers they can sink their teeth into.
In a separate survey conducted by Social Fresh, Firebrand Group and Simply Measured, over 95 percent of marketers named Facebook as the best social media platform for ROI. Facebook’s 1.65 billion share of the 2.2 billion global social media users makes it an obvious target for brand awareness, and a big reason why so many companies consider Facebook to be central to their social marketing strategy. Another attractive feature is the ability to track analytics directly through a Facebook profile.
Despite its increasing popularity, Snapchat has some catching up to do in the way of measuring ROI. The survey placed Snapchat at the very bottom of the list for producing investment return, which could be attributed to a lack of onboard analytic tools. Snapchat currently does not offer direct monetization, but brands are still finding ways to measure financial success through the app. MeUndies, a company targeting loungewear and underwear to millennials, used a call-to-action with vanity URLs in a series of comedic skits. The company saw a conversion rate of 16 percent on Snapchat traffic in June.
With the prevalence of “Dark Social,” a term for what audiences say about your brand in private chat, many brands are now turning to social media messaging apps to connect with their audience. While measuring ROI may be a mystical, marketing unicorn right now, brands are forced to get creative and that’s no bad thing. The savvy marketer will utilize frontline marketing, understand the buyer’s journey, and use storytelling to connect with their audiences in a unique way.