BMA annual: Social media delivers ROI

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Chicago—Paul Dunay, CMO of Networked Insights, opened the BMA conference panel he led Thursday here with the statement, “I'm sick of this lie that there's no ROI in social media.” He and his fellow participants in the “Unleash Your Investment in Social Media” session then proceeded to show where they had found significant returns on investment in their social media initiatives. Dunay shared a few social media efforts he employed when he was the global managing director of services and social marketing at Avaya. He told the story of how he used a variety of Boolean searches, such as “replace Avaya,” on Twitter and other social media to find aggravated customers looking for alternatives or prospects considering Avaya and looking for input from peers. He forwarded some information to one such prospect. Within two weeks it resulted in a $250,000 sale. “That added up to about $4,000 a character,” Dunay said. “I said that in every meeting.” Panelist Lauren McCadney, small-business segment manager at CDW, said she has used Zuberance, a company that helped her identify brand advocates on social media. She said CDW has been particularly successful finding fans on Spiceworks, an online community for the information technology sector. McCadney has approached these brand advocates to write reviews of her company's service, which are then posted on the CDW website. The third-party reviews have been successful, and she has more social media efforts planned. “Social media is a verb, it's not a noun,” she said. Another panelist, Belinda Hudmon, senior director-integrated marketing at Motorola Solutions, said her company used social media as an integral part of its relaunch earlier this year. “We find it works best as an integrated part of a broader campaign,” she said. “It extended the campaign and got better results.”
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