Social media marketing has entered a new era. Brands are no longer content to simply experiment with a Facebook page and a Twitter account and “hope for the best.” With social media marketing budgets on the rise, marketers need their social campaigns to drive bottom-line sales, measurable brand benefit, and improved customer lifetime value. via searchenginewatch.com
This is a good post. It starts off with a promising first paragraph.
On the other hand, what I thought was interesting was the absence of the key metric that would be used by any brand that hopes to be a sustainable brand.
The author touches on the key metric when he mentions bottom-line sales in that opening paragraph. But that is the last mention of bottom-line sales in this description of the 3 key metrics. And no mention of that old-school metric: costs.
There lies the rub, the disconnect, between business and social media...agencies. They don't speak the same language. Social media ...experts...create and use terms that are really cool to bandy about at conferences and with each other. Terms like sCRM and sTraffic and sMI. Business decision-makers, on the other hand, use terms that have long-standing reputations within the business decision-making community. These are terms like: cash-low, revenues, profits, costs, ROI.
If a social media...solutions-provider...cannot connect sCRM and sTraffic and sMI...to cash-low, revenues, profits, costs, ROI then what they describe is not really a business solution.
I find it annoying, almost disingenous, for those who make money promoting social media tools and their use in the business community to say:
The maturation of the social media space has created the need for simple, standardized measurement techniques that clearly show whether social campaigns are working to deliver real brand impact and actual sales. Unlike the online advertising industry, which has standardized on a few key metrics (CPC, CPA, and CPM), social media success measurement is still in its infancy and continues to suffer from a lack of common metrics standards.
Simple, standardized, measurement techniques and metrics already exist to show how a social media tool can deliver brand impact ( whatever that means) and actual sales. If a brand's efforts cannot deliver actual sales...it has no impact; well, at least one that has an impact on its consumers and an impact that is sustainable.
Social media is a tool used by business to achieve business goals. The same key metrics and the same key terms to identify those metrics still stand.The same business language and terms and metric apply. I would suggest that the maturation of the social media space means those in that space can now wear big-boy pants and talk the language of adult decision-makers. They are after all the ones who write your checks if you speak their language.