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.
- 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
- Twitter kicks off pre-IPO investor roadshow
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- 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.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Live Webcast Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- Live Webcast
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Topic Center White Papers | Webcasts