Charting the Industry: Orgs Wrestle With Social Media ROI


While social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are now recognized as essential digital communications channels, a survey last month conducted at the digital marketing conference ad:tech shows that in 2010, 60% of the respondents realized the highest ROI from e-mail and the company Web site, and those same channels top the list for future investment among 46% of those responding.

“The survey results illustrate what many in the communications world already suspect: While marketers and PR execs are experimenting with social media, they are also struggling with the practicality and ROI of these channels, and driving the bulk of investment to more traditional digital channels,” says Bob Egner, VP of global marketing at EPiServer, which fielded the survey among CEOs, VPs, directors and digital communicators.

“The reality is that as communicators, we’re still early in our understanding of how to best use social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and that more work needs to be done to effectively connect social and mobile marketing to lead generation and revenue growth.”

WORK IN PROGRESS

That’s a thought that Joel Frey, senior PR manager at Travelocity concurs with. “While social media has become an important conversation tool with customers and we’ve used it to help quickly change the perception of our brand when problems arise, the big ROI challenge for social media in 2011 and beyond is conversion,” says Frey. “We’ve taken some initial steps by adding more trip planning features into our social networks, but there’s still work to do in turning friends/fans/followers of our brand into loyal bookers.”

That’s not to say social media ROI is downplayed at Travelocity. The company uses social media as an additional channel to support integrated marketing and target certain consumer groups. “Here, specifically, we’ve had success integrating the adventures of the Roaming Gnome into our social media campaigns, and the ROI we’ve seen from a publicity standpoint has been terrific,” says Frey.

ENGAGEMENT FACTOR

Yet social media ROI depends on the eye of the beholder. Laura Kane, VP of external communications at financial services company Aflac, says the Facebook effort she’s most involved with, the Aflac Cancer Center causes page, counts traffic generated to the page and engagement with the Aflac Cancer Center as positive ROI. As well she should: The Facebook destination has helped raise more than $1.2 million for the center. This should come as no surprise, as the survey finds that Facebook is the highest generator of ROI among social media platforms.

“The value I see in social media is that it is a way to inform and engage consumers about your products and services in a way that is relevant to them,” says Kane.

Due to competitive considerations, Frey won’t reveal specific social media plans for this year, but says social media will continue to be an “important part” of the overall communications plan. PRN

Keep pace with the evolution of Facebook by attending the Jan. 27 PR News Webinar, "Facebook Essentials: Leveraging the Latest Features for PR Success."

CONTACT:

Bob Egner, bob.egner@episerver.com; Joe Frey, joel.frey@travelocity.com; Laura Kane, lkane@aflac.com.




Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Media Relations Conference

 media_relations_banners_180x150_ep

Join us on December 11, 2014, for PR News’ essential Media Relations Conference, taking place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. You'll learn from top PR professionals how to amplify your organization’s messages through positive coverage in traditional media and through your own branded content initiatives.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook


book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.