Our clients are savvy, they want to know the ROI (return on investment) for their social media marketing efforts. We understand that the brands we represent online want results. It is interesting to us though, because we are quite sure the same question is NOT being asking of their expensive print campaign or their Public Relations retainer. These cost significantly more than a social media marketing contract. We remind our clients that first and foremost we are more cost-effective than a full time employee in-house. Period. And as an agency, we are able to use our team resources to create compelling content and dig deeper into the available analytics. Our managers stay up to date on the latest social media trends. So while we feel pretty good about the value we offer right out of the gate, we can also measure ROI over time in key areas. A great post by Social Media Examiner summed up the three basic components to measure ROI:
This varies greatly based on your business. We work with an upscale hotel that simply wants their social channels to reinforce the luxury brand image they have created. On the other hand, we also work with a manufacturer that wants sales conversions. Their goal is to keep prospective customers interested online and drive them to the website when they are ready to make a purchase. These are extremely different goals. The important part is that in both cases, they know exactly why they use social media.
Determine the Right Platform
This is the easy part, right? Not always. We have had examples where a client wanted to be on a platform and we thought the demographics did not match. In other cases, we thought a platform was a perfect match and the client wasn't interested. Think like your customer -- Where will you hang out online? Also, consider Google+. A modest effort on Google+ can improve your website’s SEO and search ranking.
Pick the right tools to measure your performance against your goals. We know this sounds obvious but it can be tricky. Do you know how much traffic your website is getting from Twitter? Have you done an analysis on what types of posts get better engagement from your target audience? If you start a campaign without knowing how to measure it, you will never know the ROI.
These three points are the basic foundation for any social media marketing campaign. There are gray areas though, where we *wish* we had more visibility into the dollars & cents value of social media.
For hotels specifically, social platforms and review sites can greatly shape a potential guest’s opinion of your hotel long before they check in. Can you measure this? Probably not. That beautiful stock shot of your lobby you took five years ago can’t compete with a couple of bad reviews on TripAdvisor or a Facebook page that has not been updated in a few weeks.
Social platforms can also help hoteliers identify problems with guests while they are in-house, converting them into satisfied customers. Often this type of recovery can be an even more powerful testimony. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you respond to them that shows your true character. Social plays a big part in the guest lifecycle as shown in this diagram. A strong, consistent effort across social media channels can positively affect your business in a number of ways -- both qualitative and quantitative. Thin Pig Media can share specifics, give us a shout!