One of my favorite sources of intelligence on state of social media marketing is work done by Forrester Research. Their newest report targets the most common problem we marketers face when talking to organisations: why would we even bother with social media marketing if we cannot measure it (or to be more precise: we do not know how to measure it). Augie Ray in his blog posts gives us good explanation on the topic, which I hope you will also find useful.
Many marketers can draw a straight line between investments in social media marketing and financial results, but many more cannot. This doesn’t mean social media marketing is ineffective; it just means that marketers have to recognize benefits beyond dollars and cents. Facebook fans, retweets, site visits, video views, positive ratings and vibrant communities are not financial assets—they aren’t reflected on the balance sheet and can’t be counted on an income statement—but that doesn’t mean they are valueless. Instead, these are leading indicators that the brand is doing something to create value that can lead to financial results in the future.
Ray suggest specific approach to tackle the problem of short term and long term results, as well as financial and brand benefits of social media marketing. The model is called Social Media Marketing Balanced Scorecard and it looks like this:
Basically what we need to start looking at is the shift from purely financial benefits to the combination of financial, brand, digital and risk management achievables. For me personally, as well as for some of you working with social media for a while now, this approach will become apparent. However many of us will still struggle to understand that shift.
I am really happy to see Forrester Research stepping in and giving us the report, as well as good model to follow. And most of all I love the mentioning of ‘long-term brand health’ – which is exactly what successful marketing is about;)
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