Social Media Revisited

I thought I’d revisit the topic of social media in economic development and see what the latest thinking is. In the private sector, Corporate Marketing Directors are increasing the pressure on their marketers to demonstrate a positive ROI for their social media investment. They have heard the rhetoric that social media is too different from other media options to be quantitatively measured. CMOs are no longer accepting that excuse. There is mounting pressure in the Executive Suite to prove the value. You can expect a flood of new measurement methodologies will be created in the private sector to address that challenge.

There are several key learnings being developed on how to deliver a positive ROI from social media. They have the potential to shape the use of social media in economic development.

Emerging Key Learnings

  • Social Media MetricsGo where the people you want to connect with are already congregating. It is hard, expensive and time consuming to create a sustainable community. It is far more cost effective to participate in communities that exist already. For example, having an active blog is definitely important. Having a proactive approach to commenting on blogs the people you want to connect with already read gets you to a positive ROI faster.
  • Social media metrics begin with a clear understanding of a business objective. Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert has a great visual that illustrates the point.

Good Presentations

I also thought it would be helpful to share some presentations on the subject I think are well done and informational.

Mark Schaefer – Schaefer Marketing Solutions

Derek Pillie – cirrus abs

Rick Burnes

Measuring the Impact of Facebook

Developing a Social Media Strategy

Get Started Measuring

Here is a challenge for you. Remember Jay Baer? Here is a FaceBook valuation tool he created to help you better understand what the potential return you may be getting from your efforts.

FaceBook Valuation Tool

Update Me

What has you recent experience been in using social media to support your economic development goals? What have you found that works? Are you measuring your results? If yes, what measurement tools are you finding most helpful? Leave a comment and share your experience. I am anxious to learn from you.

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7 Comments so far

  1. Dave

    June 22, 2011


    I recently found this article that I like for some basic approaches to thinking about how to value social media initiatives. I’m not sure if it’s worthy of a link, but wanted to share it with you.

  2. Dave

    June 22, 2011

  3. Ken

    June 22, 2011

    Ed, I often remind marketers that social media marketing is a commitment, not a campaign. The funnel above illustrates the need to tie social media inexorably to an overall business goal, which is inherently and equally committal.

  4. Polly

    July 8, 2011

    Thank you so much for this article, it saved me time!

  5. Christina Pappas

    August 19, 2011

    I first want to state that social media is not for every organization. It just isn’t. We can claim all day long that it is, but at the end of that day if your audience is not in the networks and your goals do not align with achievable benchmarks obtained by participation, then your time and resources are best spent elsewhere.

    With that being said, I caution businesses to track things like fans and followers. All the data is available to you in regards to your social media ROI, you just have to know what you are looking for and what to do with it once you get it. As an example, at a previous company I worked for, we had a corporate blog and our goal was lead generation. So I used a combination of blog analytics from our blog software and Google Analytics to track how people were getting to the blog content and then what action they were taking after the fact.

    If you are considering adding social media to your marketing efforts, I would encourage you to check out tools like Flowtown to get a reading of what networks your audience are participating in and in what capacity.

  6. Ed Burghard

    September 8, 2011

  7. […] Social Media Revisited […]

7 Responses to “Social Media Revisited”

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