Greater Social Media Control Means Greater ROI
With all these community distractions and disruptions, it's no wonder ROI is so elusive. Maximizing ROI on your marketing investment requires not only analysis and understanding of your marketing campaigns, but also deep comprehension of your customers — e.g., their preferences, dislikes and how they consume information. But how closely are your followers truly following you? How often do their retweets represent a buy? Are they engaged one minute and a ghost the next?
For a growing number of businesses, generating, measuring and protecting social media ROI means hosting social communities from their own domain. In this controlled environment, you can build communities where people are able to socialize, vocalize, publicize, criticize and popularize your brand, but in a controlled and lasting way. It's also much easier to hear, respond to and learn from registered community members who inherently tend to be more engaged, loyal and qualified.
Your presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will still be important, but the focus should be on driving authenticated traffic from these networks back to your site, where a more permanent community can be integrated with CRM and other systems that can help you focus on lead generation. Once a prospect chooses to engage on your turf, you can get to better know thy customer, better serve thy customer and build stronger loyalty with content management systems that provide complete visitor profiles of your site traffic for better customer insight as well as lead scoring tools that can be used to identify which visitors/contacts have the highest probability of generating value. By generating, managing and scoring leads, you can focus on the most important contacts or qualified leads and maximize your sales efficiency.
It's true that too much control can squeeze the life out of a community. By blending the right control with the right content, however, you can create an environment that fosters meaningful interactions, stronger relationships and more buys. Owning your community means knowing your community. By hosting all the features that social media offers on your own site, you can better align your content, execution and analytics for faster and measurable ROI that truly impacts the bottom line.