How to Measure the ROI of your B2B Social Media campaign

I am asked every week how to measure the ROI for B2B Social Media and I am beginning to think am I missing something? Is it really that complicated?

If you currently do not measure your ROI for existing marketing efforts then stop making excuses for not starting your B2B Social Media Campaigns, get your head out of the sand and start planning! All marketing efforts should be measured and failing avenues should be addressed or dismissed and those that succeed should be emphasized on and rolled out for other business areas.

In its simplest form if you place an advert in a trade magazine which costs you £5,000 and 50 people contact you from this advert and 5 people in time place orders then this can be simply measured and everyone feels comfortable with this. So if you are stood in a bar after work on a Friday night and mention to the person stood next to you that you are an accountant and that person is looking for an account, will they ask you to work for them straight away? No. They will get to know you over time, speak to other people that have used you, gain trust in you and eventually pop the question “Any chance you can…” and in time if you provide a good service or product you will have a very loyal client, who may even pay a premium for your work.

Depending on your drinking habits the later of these 2 marketing scenarios is probably the cheaper of the 2 and certainly a lot more enjoyable! Now I’m not saying move your offices into a bar but surely everyone can understand this is a great way of getting quality clients at a low cost? B2B Social Media works in the same way and if you are looking for certain clientele you will join a certain networking group or hang out in a certain place to meet, communicate and gain trust from the right audience. Social media is no different but of course needs to be measured as should all your marketing efforts.

The diagram “Rooster ROI for B2B Social Media” which is available for download shows that not only can social media perform in its own right but also support all your marketing channels. To pick up the phone after seeing an advert is a big commitment that often people will put off as they are too busy doing something else when they see it. Social media gives people the chance to read more when they are good and ready without feeling pressured. It also means that once explained in more detail on a blog or website if your offering is not right for the potential client then your time has not been wasted and in turn can reduce your staffing costs and improve your ROI. The cost reductions that can be created by using social media are often forgotten but a huge part of increased ROI of B2B Social Media. Cost reductions can be:

– Reduced call centre costs

– Reduced staffing costs

– Reduced administration costs

– Issues can be resolved and questions can be answered quicker

– Reduced training costs through cross learning

– Reduced travel expenses

– More chance of repeat business

So lets assume that your social media structure is set up, secure and you are ready to engage and look at the next steps to promote a product or area of your business to a B2B audience. The following points relate to the “Rooster ROI for B2B Social Media.pdf” diagram.

1. Decide which marketing channels you want to use to market your product/service and make sure they are all linked giving strength to your campaigns. Set up specific social media campaigns relating to your product/service not just your company as a whole.

2. Set up specific landing pages, expert blogs or even a bespoke microsite to show how confident you are in your product/service. This is a must to be able to measure traffic to the web page/s and know where that traffic came from and what activity generated the traffic.

3. Set up your calls to action, online forms, online registration, newsletter registration and contact telephone numbers to the right departments. Make sure your “goals” are set up on your Google Analytics so you know the success of campaigns online or otherwise.

4. Enter all your captured data into your CRM system so then you can easily see and measure which marketing channels were successful. More advanced Social Media Management tools can link direct into CRM systems giving a seamless solution.

5. Give each person the correct contact within your organization.

6. Connect with your leads through social media, keep them informed, gain their trust and make sure they are there to guide them through to purchase when ready. Potential clients will more than likely go round and round in this cycle before they commit to purchase but make sure your team are at the front of the virtual helpdesk ready to guide them to purchase.

You must know and understand your costs associated to your social media which can be time, training, set up, management software and ongoing monthly management. You must also know exactly where your business comes from and potential savings then it is simple to measure your ROI of all your B2B Social Media activity down to an individual tweet. What people forget is is that your online activity needs to be accountable and if not set up and managed correctly this can be impossible to measure.

Posted by Chris Tyler-Smith on 30 Apr 2012