This post is one in the #SMWReporter series. Disclosure: Thanks to Nokia for selecting me as one of two U.S. reporters to cover Social Media Week Berlin. Nokia covered all travel and expenses and gave each reporter a Nokia Lumia 1020 41 megapixel camera phone. What a cool trip! While I was there, I had the opportunity to cover intriguing SMW Berlin sessions like this one, How Great Brands Define Social ROI.
How Great Brands Define Social ROI
Hosted by Falcon Social, the "How Great Brands Define Social ROI" session speakers included Roland Fiege, managing parter at Mediabrands Audience Platform; Thane Ryland, head of global social media insights at Nokia; and Armgard Eichhoff, strategic consultant at Bazaarvoice.
Back in 2009, Roland Fiege started academic research to build a social scorecard to measure value around social media campaigns. His company invests client budgets in 360 social media campaigns; clients include Microsoft/Lumia and Visa/Mastercard.
Bazarrvoice measures an authentic voice in the marketplace, through technology. The company pays lots of attention to reviews online; making sure the information is authentic and real, working with around 70,000 brands on 11 million products that reach 400 million shoppers each month. All of this creates a lot of opportunities to work in different ways.
In 2012, Nokia had 100 million social interactions. Today, the company has 40 million global Facebook fans. And, the equivalent of 500 years of Nokia Global video content was viewed on Youtube in 2012. The size of the community makes it a big opportunity to leverage content and care for customers; Nokia is constantly monitoring the social brand. You can read about Nokia's story, going back over 150 years, here.
Nokia's approach to social is to listen and engage as a social business. The company is in a challenger mindset, not to outspend the competition, but to listen to the people who value the Nokia brand.
One of the important things to understand is that Nokia doesn't sell directly to consumers. Having distributors adds another dimension and a challenge.
The company’s been on Facebook since 2008. In 2011, they wondered “how can we make the conversations understandable and digestible?” So, they installed displays in company canteens to let their employees know about the conversations going on in real time about the company around the world.
In 2012, they thought about what they wanted to measure and “how do we build something that can be scaled?” Now, they have a global team working with many markets to make sure that what works is scalable. They’re also looking at how to optimize what they have by using data to forecast opportunities.
How Companies Invest in Social ROI
Imagine a company spending up to 25% of their revenue on advertising. They don't actually care where the money is spent, but they want a good return on their investment. If Roland can prove that one channel works better than another, then they'll want to spend more money.
Let’s say the customer’s number one KPI is awareness and trust. For them, all the content is driving the trust parameters. They are rarely successful when they create a lot of buzz. So, don't come in with fancy social media stuff for clients like these.
The big problem at SMW is people are whining that they need to get more budget, but the only thing that counts in the very end is the money. We have to be sure that the social channels we are responsible for are performing at least as good or better than traditional channels.
Armgard agreed that at the end of the day, it is about money. But, you have to remember who gives you the money: the consumer who cares about the product, wants an experience and is interested in a conversation.
How are you engaging with people already loyal to you?
She says a massive opportunity that companies are missing is engaging with people who are already loyal to you. One UK company asked people to upload pictures of someone they loved and then had people vote on the winners. They created a calendar that raised money for a foundation, engaged new people and got people to be more emotional and closer. Advocacy is an incredible and crucial tactic that brands can use.
Thane says advocacy takes social back to PR and communications where the key measurement is increasing the advocacy around the brand.
Working with advocates, they can now come up with an idea of how many device purchases they can influence in a year. They can understand what reach social may have. The point is you really have to step back and think about internal resources and data you already have and then plug into that larger delivery outcome you're looking for.
On the influencer and ambassador level, it takes longer to get the measurements, It’s not as easy to measure as "how did the campaign go this week."
Most organizations are set up differently in terms of who wears the social hat.
Thane says, “Social is sort of the liquid that's allowing everybody to float across different areas that they couldn't before.” At the end of the day, the company has a common set of key performance indicators that everybody's trying to drive towards.
Where to Start Measuring Social ROI
As far as beginning to measure social ROI goes, start with a campaign to give people something to react to. You can build good relationships and get insights on paid ads on Twitter and Facebook.
Roland say ROI depends on the business case and the strategic basis of your social media strategy. Are you there for marketing, for service?
If you're there to push marketing, we all know what happens to non-customer focused companies - they go away.
Amrgard thinks ROI is a difficult problem for companies. They want to do social, but they don't have the resources. In terms of going back to real time demands, it's easier for them to monitor and react as reviews come in.
Social ROI is about tying the value back to the bottom line, which would be a lot easier if we were talking about ecommerce, but not everybody is into ecommerce.
Brands are challenged to move connections through the social funnel from clickers to likers to regulars.
To find out how to move people along the funnel and measure ROI, start with interviews to identify the greatest pain because we can measure that and start putting numbers on that. And, we can compare traditional media to social and put numbers around that as well.
Where can you focus your efforts in getting concrete ROI?
The moderator observed, “There's not a lot of customer service people at Social Media Week. That's a big problem. This customer service event is now in the open, it's in an auditorium and everybody's watching.”
Start small, be specific and come together on some thing you feel like isn't perfect, but is good enough. The landscape for KPI's is constantly changing across the globe. For example, where does Snapchat fit in?
Only five people in the session’s audience were measuring social ROI. How about you?
Be careful of analysis and paralysis, Armgard cautions. Because once you figure out the technology, it's moved on. So test, there's often a lot of surprising data that comes out.
Setting Social ROI Standards: Cats and Dog or Numbers?
Thane mentioned one of the takeaways from SMW London. On the one hand, you can ask: What is the social ROI of your cat or your dog or your family? On the other hand, ROI means measuring everything, but the downside/danger is that you can't be creative if all you're focusing on is numbers.
How about you - are your more analytical or more creative?
Image: Penguin in a Pond at the Berlin Zoo by Barbara Rozgonyi, taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020