“The past year has seen a flood of new analytics tools hoping to definitively crack the social ROI code: Do customer conversions matter? What about cold, hard sales? Or maybe it skews more intangible with metrics like ‘buzz,’ ‘engagement,’ and ‘impressions.’ Terminology notwithstanding, it’s in the industry’s best interest to prove its own effectiveness.”
–Adweek, “Social Draws Big Ad Dollars Does It Really Work
A thousand stories exist to show how social media revitalized a brand (Old Spice) or brought in a lot of traffic (Coca Cola), and I’m sure the people involved swear that the campaigns had a significant impact on their bottom line. But for those smaller companies who do low investment contests, blogs, twittering, and such, is there any way to see if the added effort is work it?
From the article: Rich Fleck, vp and general manager of Merkle Connect says “Without knowing what to do (with their Facebook pages), most marketers default to a mass media social strategy we call ‘Wall Talk,’ which is throwing something onto their wall and hoping people find it engaging”.
So what can we do? Analytics seem like they are more than able to track traffic, clicks, the buying process, but can they do anything to know if someone participated in social media, then wet and bought from the store later? Maybe, and this Merkle company is at the forefront.
“Merkle, a 20-year-old customer relationship management agency, launched its own social measurement product: Merkle Connect. It works by connecting the company’s existing trove of CRM data about a customer set with new engagement data from those customers’ Facebook activity (provided they opt to share it).
The result is a value for each Facebook fan, Facebook share, and Facebook like, much in the way a brand would assign values and segments to its customers based on purchasing behavior.”
Pairing social media participation with actual consumer buying behavior? I’m not sure how advanced we are at this point, and how person specific they can be, we are stepping into uncharted waters. But I’d love to hear if they are planning to track who watches YouTube videos and how many are affected. Seeing the future yet?