Social media throws up many metrics – likes, follows, comments, views, shares and many others to name here. Everyone likes to be “liked”, but for companies using social media, the real question is, “How does this grow my business?” While we all acknowledge the benefit to Social media when it comes to branding, opening channels of communication with customers, building loyalty, being transparent and establishing good will, it is difficult to isolate cause and effect – “returns” attributable to “investment”, especially “marketing costs”.
- Sabyasachi Mitter, Managing Director, Interface Business Solutions (I) Pvt. Ltd.
- Pratik Mazumder, Head Marketing & Strategic Relations, Yatra.com
- Sanjay Mehta, Founder and Joint CEO, Social Wavelength
- Prashant Singh, Managing Director – Media, Nielsen India
- Praveen Gupta, General Manager – Marketing & Head- Digital Business, Tata Docomo
The panelists discussed the best practices that leading brands are employing to leverage leading platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram? They also discussed how the brands can integrate multi-platform strategies to best reach their intended audiences, and turn engagement into dollars.
Sabyasachi: On social media, engagement with the audience is crucial. What is ROI? What are brands doing towards generating ROI? What should or should not be the metrics for ROI?
Prashant: The ROI can be determined depending upon the kind of campaign. The first question is what the desired reach of the brand is. Next concern is the resonance of the reach. The reaction marks the sales. There is no specific platform to judge the ROI, it depends on the campaign.
Praveen: Critical part of social media is that it has become a channel to acquire new customers. Social media is much beyond ROI. It can drive acquisition of new customers.
Sanjay: Companies should be concerned about ROI as a whole, not just social media. Social media is a digital cousin of SEM, and SEM was measurable. Social is lot more than SEM. Social media is a part of the collective engagement channel of a brand and not the whole of it.
Pratik: The myth was social media was easy, cheap and free. People assume that organizations that are trying to build engagement with consumers on social media doesn’t have to pay, however, that is not true. Even social media engagement requires finances.
Sabyasachi: Do clients have clarity on what is social media?
Pratik: Clients have realized that social media is so vast and they need to be present on it. But only 5% of them are serious about it.
Sanjay: The brands are reaching the consumer across all channels. That is why the brands have integrated campaigns (TV, newspaper, social) nowadays. The audience that is being targeted through different channel is the right audience for that channel or not should be a question that the brands must be asking.
Praveen: Another question should be whether the brand looking at social as a brand building platform or as a sales platform? The vision should be clear, the mindset should be an ROI driven mindset. The journey of a consumer can be tracked from social media to online website through cookies. So, having a mindset is very important, with the mindset it is possible to find a way to track.
Prashant: ROI is always a campaign question. It cannot be a platform specific question. Holistic view of the overall brand campaign is essential. Effectiveness of any campaign is done at an overall level.
Sabyasachi: Do we really know our fans and followers. Are they the customers of the brand or are they just a number?
Praveen: The technology provides the brands the tools to track the ROI.
Sanjay: The Facebook insights offers basic information on the fan following. Another way is Facebook Search Graph. The Search Graph provides a brief profile of the fans in the search result. By looking at the brief profiles it is easier to understand the fan following. However, that is possible for smaller companies with lesser fan following. Another tool is Wisdom tool, which allows the brands to understand the psychology of the fan base to the very last detail.
Praveen: Brands should not concentrate on understanding the fan base to the last detail, what their likes and dislikes are. That will create a mess.
Prashant: The ROI has to be linked back to the sales. Every dollar spent on social media has given the brand sales worth how much rupees?
Sabyasachi: is ROI on social media only limited to the platforms such as Facebook, twitter etc. Can brand websites integrate the essentials of social media on their website itself?
Pratik: Yes, on the site itself it is essential. Tools such as web-engage tools are ways to create engagement with the customers on the website itself.
Praveen: Social media is about brand building, customer service, PR and sales.
All and all a very intriguing session on social media ROI. It was very interesting to understand Social media ROI from the most experienced personalities in the country.Social Media ROI - Making Sense Of The Imprecise: ad:tech New Delhi 2013, Day 2 #adtechin,