The jury has been out for some time – social media is here to stay. While most B2B companies lagged behind B2C companies when it came to adopting social media, that tide has shifted and more B2B companies are creating an online presence. We’ve written several blogs on Social Media from which platforms B2B companies should begin with and how to use specific platforms more effective.
While more B2B companies are embracing social media most are still focused on the tactical execution of the platforms. E.g. build a company profile page on LinkedIn, enhance staff’s individual profiles, etc. This is in part due to the newness of the platforms and the difficulty in measuring social media ROI. Of course, to measure ROI, you need a social marketing strategy which will identify goals, target markets, platforms, activities and metrics.
Gleanster recently released a report Quantifying the Value of Social Media Engagement in B2B Marketing which explores how B2B companies are using social media, what metrics are currently in place and provides a model for measuring social media ROI.
Accordingly to Gleanster, at 88%, LinkedIn is the most used social media channel by respondents followed by sharing links, online communities and blogs.
In Gleanster’s ROI model, they provide four measurement dimensions:
- Distribution – measures channels that are used to deliver content, e.g. # of followers, # of fans, # of mentions
- Interaction – measures engagement, e.g. Forward to a Friend, Comments, etc.
- Influence – measures degree to which social media channels impact perceptions, e.g. Reach, Net Promoter, Credibility
- Action – measures the specific actions a company’s target audience took, e.g. Sales, Conversion, etc.
Incorporating these metrics into a dashboard, Gleanster’s model uses a Social Media Mean Performance Score (MPS), a formula that aggregates the metrics a company gathers (based on the four dimensions above) to determine the average growth/decline of social media efforts. A detailed explanation of the model and the formula can be found in the report.
What Gleanster offers is a methodology for beginning to look at ROI at the outset of your social media activities. While not every platform will be required for your business, you can develop a system for tracking and measuring that will provide you with monthly insights and educate you on what platforms work best (i.e. generate the greatest ROI) over time.
If you’d like more information on how social media can work for your organization, we'd love to talk.