Guarantee Your B2B Social Media Marketing ROI in Just 7 Steps

b2b-social-media-roiWhen social media first started gaining traction, CMOs and other B2B marketing heads saw the value of the new marketing channels. Since that time, social media marketing budgets have increased substantially, yet a majority of businesses fail to deliver a quantifiable return on their investment.

What can marketers do to ensure their efforts are generating a true and effective ROI? They can take these seven steps:

1. Know your why and set a goal

This is the critical first step that is needed to explain why an initiative is important enough to spend money on in the first place. State upfront what you are trying to accomplish and why you’re doing it. It’s important to outline clear deliverables such as increasing the number of leads from a source or securing a specific number of email sign ups from a certain initiative, and communicate why it’s important.

2. Identify and target the right audience

Without knowing who the key customers will be, you run the risk of a scattered approach that may dilute your message and drastically increase your costs. Some sample questions to ask yourself to help: who in your current customer base is the right fit for your product or service? Who buys the most and why do they buy? What have they purchased from you before? Do their purchasing patterns suggest they might be a good target?

3. Develop specific content for the audience and determine the correct outlet or channel

Determine the best avenue and media format to communicate your content to an engaging audience. The answer is not typically a one-size-fits all approach. Will video communication work better than written content to better showcase your product? Should you write a 600 word blog post or are 140 character tweets more logical? Do status updates on Facebook make more sense?

4. Allow the product to market itself

Many businesses don’t yet realize it, but providing a great product experience allows customers to determine if your product really fits their needs. One simple way to do this is to offer customers the opportunity to experience the product for free. The freemium strategy of the 21st century has created billions of users and spawned tremendous new business opportunities.

5. Generate brand advocacy

Creating and amplifying advocates should be front and center on every marketer’s agenda. The blueprint for how to turn advocates and owned media into a powerful marketing force is the key. Get your brand on customers’ pages in social media channels and have them share information with their networks about the product or service. This generates word of mouth marketing, which is one of the most effective kinds of marketing.

6. Engage with people on social networks

Too many businesses lack this step too. If your product or service is mentioned on a customer’s social media page, engage with that person. Start a conversation directly with customers – it will make a huge impact of their perception of your product or brand. Engaging with customers on social media is one of the fastest and most effective ways to create brand advocates.

7. Track and analyze your success

Defining and determining a technology solution to track important metrics must be done proactively. You need to know what data you need to show, how to go get it, and then show it simply. There are a variety of services that can help you proactively gauge the impact of your strategy, so that in the end you have a tangible ROI that is defensible in front of any CMO or CEO.

Social media marketing is the biggest opportunity to marketers since the web, and it’s now time to develop a clear strategy, create advocates, and generate leads and sales.

Next time you have to justify your budget to implement a successful social media campaign and provide a tangible ROI, rely on these seven steps to get you there.

Photo: Instagram

Comments

  1. says

    I have been told by a Social Media trainer that SM does not generate ROI. SM is a tool to drive people to your website where hopefully, an ROI can be generated.

    Being in a business where I don’t sell a product directly to the consumer makes the validity of SM questionable. And no one in the industry is addressing this issue to a point where I can say it’s worth it. My direct customer is liquor store owners, some of whom don’t even engage in email.
    Thanks for this article but, again, I’m left scratching my head about the how-to specifics.

    To pay a Social Media company $2500 a month to do Twitter and a blog for me is ridiculous to say the least. *This is a quote I recently got.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all over social media but, for my business? I just can’t get my head around it.

    Lost in confusion yet again,
    C. Bray

  2. Suzi Montoya says

    Cind Bray
    Your trainer is wrong! Social Media can be measured. It’s a soft measurement but still very effective. By measuring click per minute. Click per view. Plus many other ways like analytics in twitter and Facebook. Google analytics is a great free tool. Also there are other social media tools out there to help.
    To me it may be a tactic they are using to keep your business, or get it.

    If you have any questions please contact me I can help you understand more.

    You can reach me at msuzique@gmail.com

    Suzi M.

  3. says

    I feel social media is valuable for any and all niches as long as you are doing it right and keeping people engaged. It allows more people to find you and get to know more about you and as long as you are providing value and engaging your audience you can build trust with people and start to receive more business. With social media it is about giving people value and getting to know the customer and tailoring to their needs. By building this trust and engaging them people then feel more inclined to use you over the other guy.

    Once people feel comfortable with you and like you really want to help them or you really have the best product or service you can then start to sell to them and gain new clients. Also it is important these days for SEO the more social signals you get the better you can rank a site. These days it is about earned rankings vs the old days of optimizing right to get the rankings.

    I would at least try with the help of an SM person to see what you can get out of it. You may end up getting more of your clients to share with other owners they know who you are not doing business with and if they share with their friends and so on you can build a solid customer base.

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