Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to present at the 2012 AMA Ferris State Regional Conference, which brings together college students from various universities across the Midwest. Stemming from the interactive content and emerging media theme of the conference, I elected to take an analytical and predictive approach to social media.
Today, social in the complex environment of marketing communications has become an accepted and arguably mandatory means of engaging consumers and extracting consumer data. Even with the presence of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tumblr, social is still projected to grow by 19.5 percent in the next five years (Duke University 2012).
With this social expansion, the challenge for marketers to provide a means of quantifying this mass amount of data becomes ever more crucial when making business decisions. Marketing professionals of the future will need to extract valuable insights from this data to drive brand strategy and to provide measureable results, thus defining social ROI.
Although there are many fantastic cases of brands pushing the envelope of social ROI, digital marketers have yet to bridge the gap from online discussion to offline results. However, in leveraging realistic applications of social analysis such as consumer voice (e.g. Klout), technological resources, customer point of sale (POS) data, and open application programming interface (API) content as Chevrolet, IBM, and Target have employed, marketers can begin to fine tune social ROI practices to reach future business objectives.