What's your Twitter ROI? How to measure social media payoff
Yes, you can measure the ROI of marketing via social media campaigns -- really
Computerworld - Tech-savvy fans of the Georgia Aquarium got a special deal this past spring: a big discount on ticket prices. The aquarium offered 25% to 40% off admission prices from February through May to people who followed it on Twitter or signed on as Facebook or MySpace fans.
The promotion brought in $42,000 in sales, something the Atlanta aquarium could track through a URL it created and used specifically for the promotion, says Dave Santucci, vice president of marketing and communication. Santucci and IT Vice President Beach Clark say the promotion also helped them calculate whether the aquarium's investment in social media is paying off, and by how much.
The attitude toward social media today is much like the "build it and they will come" approach that companies took to Web site development in the early days of the Internet. Over time, businesses learned how to measure the value of click-throughs, e-mail campaigns and other Web site functions, and today they can calculate the ROI of their online initiatives.
Now, as more companies adopt social media for business dealings, leading organizations are trying to assess the actual value of using these tools. They're finding that while social media technologies do have business benefits, calculating the hard numbers of ROI is a difficult yet necessary step as they try to decide what actions to take next.
"I've been a big proponent of being able to measure and using measurements to drive decisions. And we're making progress," Clark says.
Santucci says he and other executives at the five-year-old aquarium knew for several years that they wanted to invest resources in social media. He says a YouTube video helped prove the need. The clip, called "Dancing Otters," has attracted more than 900,000 viewers since it was posted two years ago. An aquarium visitor shot the video, but the clip doesn't mention the Georgia Aquarium by name.
Though Santucci recognizes the lost marketing opportunity there, he says the aquarium didn't have the time or staff to make an effective leap into social media until last summer, when three interns came in to tackle the job. One intern was hired to work on the project full time, and a public relations person became the manager of social media and new communications.
Clark says his IT team works on whatever development projects and IT infrastructure are required to support the initiative. Also, he sometimes works with an interactive agency to develop specialized applications, such as a mashup between Google Earth and the photo-sharing site Flickr that shows where aquarium visitors are traveling from.
So far, the financial investment in social media has been small, Clark says. There is IT staff time involved, though, to ensure that the social media activities are integrated into the organization's Web site and to deliver support services, such as the special URL for the spring ticket promotion.
- 5 Twitter clients for Linux
- Twitter brings the data back in-house with Gnip buy
- Twitter crashed -- again -- on Tuesday
- Twitter's slipping user growth spooks investors
- Get ready to tweet your questions for Twitter's first earnings call
- Super Bowl sets Twitter record, as Volkswagen launches social war room
- Perspective: Twitter's success opens up IPO pipeline
- Update: Twitter goes public at $45 a share
- With IPO cash influx, Twitter could be bigger threat to Facebook
- Ahead of IPO, Twitter shines up multimedia image
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Who does NSS Labs "Recommend" for NGFW? In 2012, NSS Labs found that most available NGFW solutions "fell short in performance and security effectiveness." In 2013 NSS Labs noted "marked...
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Improving Business Value of WAN Optimization Want to achieve faster ROI with WAN optimization? Read the latest IDC report and discover how you can cut IT costs without compromising...
- Live Webcast IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency... All Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!