Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the many others, both existing and on the horizon, bring people together in discussion. Opportunities exist to monitor and affect potential and existing customers' opinions and knowledge of your brand by utilizing Social Media Marketing.
As with any business decision, the value of social marketing to you needs to be evaluated in terms of goals and ROI. Few automated measurements or even research tools exist to measure results, let alone benefit. But this public feedback has some value, so although time consuming, an active social marketing program should be a portion of today's marketing plan.
For small company budgets without direct potential benefit (such as selling youth products), AbiTeq Marketing can setup a program to monitor the major sites for negative comments to be quickly resolved, for general awareness measurement, to provide potential customers with information and to setup satellite websites such as a Facebook page.
The next phase is manual measurement of criteria such as number of followers and comments over time, competitors share of comments versus your's, and online brand sentiment. With some measurement, trends can be deduced and tracked. Promotion campaigns can be better evaluated.
For larger scale social marketing needs, our team can not only provide full reporting on trends and campaign results, but also can help participate in target topic discussions. (You should consider having your staff do so as well)
This group would openly declare their company connections in any forum participation for instance, but would also answer questions related to your company, your products, and your field of interests. The only mention of your brand would be after their signature. This form of indirect online advertising is becoming increasingly valuable.
Here is an excerpt from a good article by Naslund discussing how to measure social media’s contribution to ROI:
"The solution is through careful measurement of social media’s contribution to your marketing goals."
Read more about Social Media Marketing on Wikipedia...
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