Media that is social
ROI of Social Media: How to Improve the Return on Your Social Marketing Investment.
By Guy Powell, Steven Groves, Jerry Dimos. Wiley; 320 pages; $29.95
Have you ever thought of marketing by Facebook? Before you start, read at least one book: The ROI of Social Media. The book meanders through a whole range of social media tools and their applications that promise to drive revenue for companies.
Social media is exploding as a new media channel. It differs from other advertising channels because messages are multi-directional and generated by many parties: marketers, influencers, individuals and consumers. Social media is not a one-way broadcast of messages to the masses, but a conversation taking place between many individuals. Unlike the real world, the conversation can have many others observing and consuming the content, not just during the conversation, but practically forever into the future. Social media marketing has an easily accessible and long memory.
With 15 case studies in its folds, the book uncovers the tactics and tools used by the largest and most successful corporations and agencies to monitor and measure the return on their investments in social media. Guy R Powell, Steven W Groves and Jerry Dimos have done the hard work to uncover and reveal the secrets the big boys use so you do not have to. It includes an eight-step process for marketers to set up their social media metrics and calculate ROI (return on investment) and a readily referenced 'media engagement framework' that encompasses traditional and social marketing in a holistic approach.
The case studies cover large and small consumer marketers, large and small business-to-business marketers, and social media tools developers in the US, Europe and Asia. The studies include companies from Asia, Europe and North America and markets as diverse as fast moving consumer goods, consumer packaged goods, media, technology and ecommerce.
One significant case study was about the Unilever Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (campaignforrealbeauty.com), which was successful in driving in initial awareness and participation. The company used traditional channels such as magazines, television and billboards to drive awareness for the programme. Young teen girls were invited to log on to the campaign website. They could download materials, participate in online workshops, take online self-esteem quiz and become a member. The site now links to a Facebook page with more than 70,000 fans.
The authors say social media has quickly become a new arrow in the marketing communications quiver. Because of this, marketers are beginning to scrutinise their knowledge of the consumer decision-making. Social media is not just one big monolithic channel. It is made up of many different types of channels, each with its own nuances. Just as newspaper advertising is different from trade publication advertisement, which is different from TV advertising, which is also different from outdoor advertising, so too is Twitter different from Facebook and MySpace. Traditional media is not just a silo of messages being broadcast out to the nameless masses. It can be shaped by the give and take of social media.
The book was written for a number of groups and individuals in an organisation. Certainly, anyone in marketing is a primary target audience for this book. Marketers must not only understand how messages from any source impinge on their consumers, but how messages must now be targeted to individuals in general.
Originally, blogging was the first significant social media tool available to marketers. CEOs were encouraged to write posts about their thoughts and brands. Key influencers were writing their own thoughts and the blogosphere was born. Since 2002, the blogging search engine Technorati has indexed 133,000,000 blogs and 77 percent of internet users read them.
The opportunity to provide a smaller, more easily consumed post was taken up by Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. They developed a service that constrained the writer to 140 characters, not words. What could you possibly say in 140 characters that would be even remotely engaging? Apparently a lot, because the service is called Twitter and as of December 2009, they raised $155 million in capital, without making a dime of revenue. They had more than 75,000,000 users in the last report.
Social networks round out the most popular category of social media tools, with Facebook being the elephant in the room, boasting an ever-growing membership of over 500 million people in over 180 countries. Facebook is not the only social network. MySpace, FastPitchNetwork.com, Orkut, Cyworld (Korea) and Qzone (China) are all social networks.
The book presents a comprehensive framework to develop metrics and calculate ROI for social marketing activities. It describes how to measure the value of a single social marketing channel, such as Twitter, an integrated social marketing campaign combining Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and an integrated marketing campaign combining TV advertising, price changes and a branded social media community.