Social Media ROI — Not just for the big companies

 social media roi

I don’t think I’ve ever given a speech, conducted a workshop, or taught a class where the “social media and ROI” question has not come up.

So it was not entirely surprising when many of the suggestions to the Social Habit Research Project focused on measuring the value and relevance of social media marketing. Last week, you’ll recall Edison Research announced a major initiative to distill the statistical truth behind social media trends and announced an invitation for anybody to submit a question to a national research project.

The three winners were announced yesterday by Edison and “measurement” was a distinct theme.

Rhonda Hurwitz‘s winning entry is a great example of the need that businesses of every size have to explore this topic. Rhonda has been a long-time {grow} community member and is an independent consultant helping companies leverage inbound marketing principles. Her question was,

For me, it always comes down to figuring out how to connect social media usage or activity to revenue. I would ask “have you ever bought a product or service due to a social media interaction” … “have you ever recommended a product or service to others via social media?”

rhonda_hurwitzFor Rhonda, the standard “guru” answers just aren’t good enough any more. “One social media thought leader says that when someone questions social media ROI, a unicorn dies,” she said. “Another says, ‘what’s the ROI of your mother?’ Well, I love those quips, and I am a true believer … after all, the majority of my own business comes from social media … but in business, I need a better answer.”

“The perfect way to connect the dots doesn’t seem to exist yet … for the little guy, anyway,” she said. “But I keep looking. That’s why The Social Habit caught my eye. To me, the next stage in our profession has got to be finding a better way to use all the data we have at our disposal to prove value. In my world, that is revenue and topline sales growth.”

I think Rhonda’s views reflect a lot of our frustrations. I’ve expressed some pretty strong views on the topic of social media measurement and I am really psyched that through this study, we are going to have a lot more actionable results, statistically-valid data, and meaningful insight to work with.

Get your business on board NOW!

Social media researchThe best thing about this project is that companies of ANY SIZE can gain access to game-changing social media research and I hope you’ll jump on board, too. Becoming a Social Habit member provides access to exclusive quarterly research reports that include:

  • A demographically weighted/balanced online survey of 3,000 US social media users, 12+
  • Approximately 100 pages of proprietary information about the state of social media
  • More than 50 easy-to-use, impactful charts and graphs
  • Valid, statistically significant answers to the most pressing social media questions
  • White paper summary, including actionable recommendations and insights for companies

You can get all of this for just $297. In the immortal words of John McEnroe, “Are you kidding me?” That is an incredible bargain that every business — any person — can afford. Find out more here!

There are other packages available that include exclusive events and consulting opportunities with myself, Tom WebsterJason Falls and Jay Baer.  Probably the most valuable and distinct offer from this new venture is the ability to leverage the powerful capabilities of Edison Research to create CUSTOM questions for your business — for under $2,000!

I hope you’ll help support this research and become involved in our movement to find social media truth.  From time to time we’ll ask for your input and maybe next time your question will help make social media research history.

Disclosure: I am an adviser on The Social Habit Project.

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  • rhonda hurwitz

    It’s not everyday you win a contest by being an “Asker of Questions” … and I am flattered, because I had a mentor once who used to say that asking the right questions is almost always more important than the answers.

    I don’t really know if my question is even that thoughtful … to me, the answer seems pretty obvious … but I’m asked to show the value of social media vs. supposedly higher returning tactics all the time, and there’s still a lot of skepticism out there, so there you go.

    Looking forward to seeing the insights that come from The Social Habit … to learn even one thing that sharpens a business strategy “for the little guy” will be worthwhile.

    I have a question for you: if you were entering your own contest, what question would YOU have asked?

    PS – we’re all familiar with research of the “mother-in-law” kind, and for some things, the anecdotal stories are great. At the other end of the spectrum, I know a company that can assemble a custom online consumer panel for research purposes, for $16,000 – $23,000 … a month! I’m no research guru, but this new option of yours sounds brilliant. Much success with your new venture!

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  • I think your mentor was a smart person! I was lucky enough to study under Peter Drucker for two years and he would pound into us the notion that a key leadership trait was not always having the right answer — but asking the right question! I believe that is true.

    One of my jobs in this advisory capacity is to help Edison come up with the right questions. So yes, I did submit a lot of possible areas of inquiry. To me, the most confusion right now is WHERE are people spending their time (what’s next?); HOW they are spending their time online and how we can connect these behaviors to buying behavior and influence.

    There is so much conflicting data out there. This is going to provide clarity that we can take to the bank to help direct our businesses. This is going to really help a lot of people.

  • You may be tired of hearing and speaking about ROI, but I’m tired of so many brands just NOT GETTING the value of Social Media or doing it with such laziness that they’d never apply to a Super Bowl commercial! For me, a BIG current example is P&G’s Olympics campaign where they’ve alienated so many dads AND moms with their out-of-date focused commercials on moms supporting their kid athletes as if the dads aren’t even there. And the tagline that “P&G supports Moms” is about as pandering as it gets…

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  • I agree. I keep thinking during the whole Olympics — where are the fathers??

  • Dads? Oh, the other half…yeah, I remember who THEY are but marketing at P&G evidently doesn’t! #DadChat takes this on tonight!

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  • Nice article, I wrote a similar piece on Forrester’s method to Social Media ROI. Measure the effect on a Financial, Brand, Digital, and Risk Management model. But with the new Facebook algorithm change, I’m curious to see how the emphasis shifts. Maybe more financial since Facebook is almost forcing brands to invest in advertising to get their posts to show up in the news feed?

  • Pingback: 52 Articles About the ROI of Social Media | Spotlight on Marketing()

  • Hi Mark, quick question: Why is it that your blogposts have dates but no year clearly marked on them? It feels weird to read about something – in this case The Social Habit – and then at the end find out that it was relevant 4+ years ago 🙁

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