Apparently, for $75, one enterprising young marketing executive in the US will ensure your company Facebook site receives 100 ‘likes’.
It’s not so much a case of buying friends, but it’s certainly a way to circumnavigate the long and unreliable process off ensuring your investment in social media pays off; assuming those ‘likes’ kick-start a wave of interest which ultimately leads to sales and a profit.
It may be cheating, but it highlights something Oli Rhys brought up on the forum a few months ago: the need for a sales ratio relating to social media interactions.
“In every other form of business marketing, there is a standardised ratio between effort in to results out,” he wrote. “It’s generally around 1% upwards. However, I can’t seem to find any similar ratios for social media. Can anyone tell me how many Tweets / Likes lead to an appointment? If no such thing exists – isn’t that quite worrying, and an indicator that Social Media isn’t a robust marketing method?”
Fighting talk for those who champion social media and all its benefits. And it got the forum talking.
Mike Briercliffe suggested the lack of robust ratios was more down to the immaturity of the medium. “I’d say that some ratios are in existence that make sense for Social – though none that I know of has yet focused in on this end result, and when it does emerge, B2B ratios will differ wildly from sector to sector. I guess that’s because its all still very immature – and when it’s successful – it’s largely as a result of random action and not driven programmes.”
“Facebook has a ratio of 0.45% between ‘likes’ and any further involvement,” said John Hyde. “This means you need to get 222 people to ‘like’ your company on Facebook before just one person will comment or share with a friend.”
But that still leaves the ratio linking ‘likes’ to sales.
One option is to build metrics backwards from the sales through to lead through to marketing activity, and then breakdown its financial value, added Oli Rhys. “Working on this idea, it seems to me that, to make social media work well for you, you need to have two areas of focus. First is a status update output which is automated followed by a personalised reply to others. This creates interest, and that is all it does.
“The next level of engagement is email or telephone based – but your lead now leaves social media, and a value can be calculated, based on the time / effort its taken to get their contact details.”
And therein lies the issue: real metrics only start to kick in when the process is moved away from social media. But Oli Rhys explained the approach. “You already know that a lead is worth (for example) £10 to you. You sent a total of 60 tweets before you got into a conversation with someone, which ended in more contact details. This took (example) 1 hour. Now we can suggest that a Tweet costs 1/60 of the value of the lead.”
So, can you gauge the effectiveness of social media? Would you use a tool or app that allowed to you to measure sales and profits as a direct relationship to social media activity? Or should social media remain a soft approach to opening dialogue and building reputation?
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