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The ROI of Social Media: Finding the Needle in the Haystack

One of the biggest challenges that marketers today face is not how to use social media to attract and retain customers, but how to measure the return on their social media investments. The trick really comes when you go to measure the return on a particular channel, as so many of the available social media tools today are so interconnected, unraveling them becomes almost a Herculean task.

The best way to measure ROI for social media initiatives is to have a clear understanding of what you will consider success. As Steve Kerho points out in an article from early this year, defining success is the first step in being able to measure it. If your organization does not know what it wishes to achieve from a particular social media marketing effort, there will be no benchmark against which to measure the eventual success or failure. Kerho’s article describes in detail one of the best ways to date for marketers to successfully measure the ROI of their social media and online use. A link to the article can be found here:

At the end of the day, though, no matter what the outlet, marketers have to consider their audience, and play to their strengths within whatever channel they choose to pursue a marketing strategy. The idea in all marketing should be to create return customers who will want to be brand advocates. Through enhancing the delivery of the message, and tailoring it to the customers, marketers can significantly increase the customer lifetime value. In other words, let your consumers tell you how they want the message, and then tailor that message to their wants.