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Social Network : ROE vs. ROI: Part I

The case for socializing your business.

January 2012 By Sarah Fleishman, Manager, Marketing & Social Media, Access Networks

Remember that the person in charge of your social media strategy has direct, communication with the outside world and will help to shape the public image of your brand. The more knowledge you entrust to that person, the more successful your campaign will be.

Like your sales staff, social media marketers publicly represent your brand, which means they must always respond to questions quickly and accurately, and be able to engage with industry peers and followers on an authentic and personal level. When you provide your social media strategist with this high level of education and understanding, your business will shift from merely having a social media presence to becoming a social force in the industry.

ROE then ROI

One popular argument against social media is that there exists no concrete way to determine its direct return on investment (ROI). While ROI is absolutely the driving force of any business' marketing activities, I would argue that social networking efforts should focus on gaining ROI by strengthening return on engagement (ROE). The beauty of social media is that it gives users a place to listen and be heard, to converse and to share ideas. A digital town hall, if you will. It also uniquely presents a marketing landscape where positive ROE often leads to ROI, but rarely the other way around.

While it is true that your tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos and Facebook messages have the ability to reach thousands of potential leads each day, it is simply unrealistic to expect each person you reach to become that day's new sale. Therefore, a successful social media campaign focuses not on generating sales per se, but instead on spreading goodwill, providing valuable information to other users, and making friends. Unlike traditional marketing mediums, the immediacy of social networking platforms offer your company a chance to show people who you are and what makes your business unique, aside from the products you sell or the services you offer. The goal of a properly executed strategy is that when a follower does need the product or service you provide, they will think of you first.

This begs the question, 'How does one measure ROE?' Today, there are a growing number of ways to measure ROE. Google Analytics, Facebook brand pages and third-party social media clients such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are some examples. Each of these have features that allow you to see how many people have viewed your content, where they are located, and how long they stayed on your site. You can also measure ROE by noting how many users reply or comment on your posts or if new clients mention your recent tweet. We will discuss this more fully in the February issue of CustomRetailer. CR

 

Sarah Fleishman holds a degree in Sociology with a focus on social media marketing from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently the Marketing Manager at Access Networks, a leading provider of advanced, enterprise-grade plug-and-play networking solutions for the automated residence.


 

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