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You CAN measure social media ROI

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One of my blogs gets up to 3,000 visitors a day, yet has produced just one business opportunity in two years. My newsletter goes to barely 1,300 subscribers but delivers inquiries almost every week. Which do you think has more business value? That giant online abacus called the Internet often yields surprising ROI results. It's fun to watch your followers, friends and visitor stats pile up, but what is it doing for your business? “Clients know they've got 2,000 Twitter followers and an average of 2.5 retweets per message, but it's amazing how many can't talk about business measurements,” says Todd Van Hoosear, a Cambridge, Mass.-based social media ROI consultant. His advice: Gather stakeholders once a week to pore over the important numbers and adjust tactics constantly. Here are 10 simple tactics: 1) Focus. Choose five metrics that matter for your strategy—no more—and laser-focus on those. If you want buzz, monitor conversations. If it's transactions, use tracking codes. Always start with the business goal. 2) Know what works. Everyone on your marketing team should know your five most productive referring Web sites. They should get 80% of your time and budget. 3) Understand influence. A retweet from Guy Kawasaki can send 1,000 people to your Web site, while a retweet from me might send 20. Who's more important to you? 4) That was a trick question. I may actually be more important to you if my referrals stick around longer. Are you tracking visitor paths? It's one of the most valuable metrics you have. 5) Make everything unique. The link you post on Twitter should use a different URL than the one you post on Facebook. Know the source of every click. Then watch where people go. 6) It's not just about your site. The most important conversation about your brand may be happening in conversations on another site. “Communities are the new search engines,” said Marc Engelsman, VP at Digital Brand Expressions, an online visibility firm. Are you tuned in? 7) Coax conversations back to your site. That's where you can measure them. 8) Monitor the competition. Success is relative. The same tools that track your progress can keep tabs on your rivals. 9) Use one big-picture metric. Net Promoter Score is one to consider: A single question assesses brand perception on an ongoing basis. 10) Give it time. Successful programs build affinity over one to two years. Ditch 13-week thinking. What's working for you? Go to BtoBOnline.com's New Channels archive and post a comment. M
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