What is the value of our social communities and why should we invest more in social media advertising? Those are the two most often asked questions of marketing executives worldwide. For now, the value of one's community is nearly always just an estimate, and advertising on social networks, despite impressive growth, can be still be seen mostly as experimental.
Many marketers remain iffy, at best, toward the current social media ad offerings. In a recent study conducted at the May 2011 Pivot Conference, just 69 percent of respondents believed Facebook's ad offerings are "excellent" or "good." Facebook was followed by YouTube at 46 percent, Twitter at 36 percent, LinkedIn at 24 percent, and Foursquare at 22 percent. Much of this is due to the fact, that many marketers are still unable to connect dots and tie activity back to individual customers to prove ROI.
However, if marketers are to convince executives to reallocate big budgets from traditional ad vehicles to fuel social community growth and engagement, they will need to build a much stronger story. So how do you convince the executive suite to invest more in social media and community efforts? Here are three quick tips:
Today's tough economic times have placed a greater emphasis on marketing ROI. As experimentation with social media continues, marketers need to get serious about building the case for investing in and growing community efforts. To do so, the most effective marketers will need to not only demonstrate the incremental lift generated from adding these channels but also demonstrate how the insights gained from these channels can be used to help grow the business and results. These marketers will also need to hone their communication skills and salesmanship. To bring about the rapid shift necessary to accelerate the investment in social media at the largest brand, marketers will need to build analogies that enable traditional thinkers to understand, support, and embrace the opportunity before them.
Till next time.
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Michael Della Penna is senior vice president of emerging channels at Responsys. His responsibilities include spearheading the overall strategic direction, partnerships, and solution offering across emerging channels including social and mobile for the company. Michael is a seasoned marketing professional with a long, proven track record of launching successful marketing, branding, and sales strategies for leading public and private companies. Most recently, Michael founded SuiteDialog, a full-service email and social CRM agency that helps brands ignite conversations and cultivate relationships with customers across the social web. Prior to SuiteDialog, Michael founded Conversa Marketing, a social CRM company that was acquired by StrongMail Systems in 2010. Before branching out on his own, Michael served as chief marketing officer for Epsilon, a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven marketing services. Michael's other key marketing leadership roles include CMO at Bigfoot Interactive, VP of strategic development at CNET Networks, Inc., and VP of marketing at ZDNet. Michael received a B.B.A. and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.
March 19, 2014