TrendsSpotting just released its poll from more than 30 social media influencers. The market research presentation identifies six trends that will change social media in 2010. In accordance with Ustrategy co-founder Ravit Lichtenberg's predictions, the experts believe that 2010 will be the year that social media ROI is effectively measured. The question is, how do you measure a dollar value from Tweets and status updates?Aptly-named consumer trend blog
I've been at the receiving end of enough agency pitches to understand that few public relations firms will promise a dollar or registration-based return for their time. In the words of one pro, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." In other words, PR can get eyeballs to your site, but it can't guarantee revenue or members. That's the job of a well-designed product. With social media, it'll be interesting to see how return on investment will be measured. Below are some possibilities.
PROSPECTING: Connie Benson, Director of Social Media and Community Strategy for Alterian says, "Social media monitoring will provide insight across all channels, as well as making social media an active outbound marketing channel." In this case Benson alludes to the idea that ROI on social media may entail leads generation. In other words, here social media ROI might be measured in the number of social media-based pitches against the number of deals closed.
STEWARDSHIP: Says President of New Marketing Labs Chris Brogan, "I see velvet rope networks where some kind of gating to keep out the commons will occur." In the case of enterprise groups engaging in social media, this may mean establishing channel partnerships, enacting a service provider's network and building self-moderating customer service programs. ROI in this case might correlate to return business via an enterprise-based social media channel.
ADVOCACY: Rosetta's Adam Cohen exclaims, "Marketing programs [will] focus more on activating brand advocates than general customers." Whether this is measured through click-thru sales on embedded brand badges or the number of clients you receive through an advocate's promo code, advocacy ROI is easily measured.
Says Lichtenberg, "While the definition of ROI is evolving to better fit the world of relationships and networks, the ability to demonstrate ROI in hard numbers -- not in followers or fans -- will become a baseline business requirement in 2010." If this is true, then many would argue that social media experts should have no problem measuring their retainer and hourly wage against a dollar value added. In reality though, there is more to social media than a simple dollar value, just as there is (hopefully) more to your company than making a sale.
We've only just scratched the surface on social media ROI and we know there are more models out there. If you've got a good method for measuring your programs, let us know in the comments below.