Last Friday the Salesforce Marketing Cloud unveiled a host of new partners and technologies, including Klout, Lymbix, and Trendspottr among others, to help its users “shift from passively listening on social media to generating business results” (the full blog post is here). The ability to accurately measure and respond to all your social media efforts is critical but really how does one define Social ROI and is adding these analytics tools to the Marketing Cloud enough?
As you might have thought social ROI can be defined in a lot of different ways such as sales numbers, brand awareness, or thought leadership – SocialMediaExaminer has a succinct take on this as well stating “social media return is the value that you derive from social media based on the goals of your campaign”. Essentially saying it is what you define it to be (so no there is still not a magic formula to determine your return from social media). All these new tools will be able to pull data from your social campaigns but you still have to determine what is relevant to your company to measure. Plus there is still a disconnect as to how they become leads and contacts and move through your demand waterfall and generate income or return.
The bottom line is this – if you truly want to figure out the ROI of your social media campaigns you need to have a good marketing analytics infrastructure in place in Salesforce before attempting any kind of measurements. A good process for moving leads and contacts through the demand waterfall that are generated from social campaigns is critical. Being able to attribute which social media campaigns played the largest role in moving them down and creating opportunities is even more important. Without a comprehensive marketing infrastructure in place with clear metrics defined how can you expect to derive ROI from something as hard to define as social media ROI, let alone ROI for any other marketing programs?