Marketers are jumping on the social media bandwagon big time, but measuring the returns on time invested remains a big problem. “Likes” or “re-tweets,” can help marketers spread brand awareness, but it’s tough to measure how that awareness translates to increased sales. That’s why it’s important to focus on relationship-driven engagement. Building solid customer relationships helps create brand loyalty and eventually, increased revenue.
One approach to overcome the roadblocks posed by lack of a specific ROI is to use the social media as a part of the overall digital strategy rather than as just another channel to deliver or propagate the brand message. For instance, when a customer makes a purchase, the analytic engine can be put to good use to capture a profile of the customer. The marketer can then scour the social network for similar profiles and deliver the marketing message to those with similar profiles. However, it is important to analyze and review these profiles in order to create relationship-driven engagement.
Another approach is for marketers to understand which of their customers are more influential among their peers, then structure offers for them that would drive recommendation-driven group purchasing.
In short, to get meaningful returns from social media, marketers must look beyond just blasting messages. Engage your network. Getting “likes” and re-tweets is great, but real returns develop out of true relationship-driven engagement.