The immediate visibility of a brand on social media has convinced that social media works. YET, there are still many business owners asking if their social media drives any return on investment (ROI) because it’s effects are, like so many other facets of marketing, not immediately unmeasurable.

Many companies are somewhat stuck in the past, delivering messages in a either a one to one face-to-face format (think in store or door-to-door) or a one to many faceless format (think TV/outdoor).

The one to one communication of old evolved into a one to many format, with companies using tools such as surveys to deliver advertising messages in a more traditional format. The ROI  was so easy to measure for companies: all they had to do was look at their returns and divide it by the initial investment and they would get a quantity.

But then social media entered the world of marketing. With so many tech savvy consumers these days, its important to remember that social media can be used as a tool to generate a message and deliver it to a mass audience. Except that’s rather missing the point of social media.

Social media is more like the one on one of old rather than the mass advertising – just a modern day version of it. Despite the fact that you can reach hundreds, thousands or millions of your customers with one way messages – all that is likely to do is have them shun you and your brand (unless you’re offering a constant stream of freebies).

Rather social media allows for you (as your brand) to have many, many one-on-one conversations simultaneously with your customers. With the main emphasis on conversation – meaning, you engage in two way communication, not just pumping out one-way advertising messages.

But I digress from social media ROI. A goal-based approach to ROI may help you to better understand social media, but it could still be confusing, so let’s take a look at some examples of real brands:

Social media & business to business success…

Jimmy Choo

The brand used Twitter to geo-locate and featured upscale stores to show where a new brand of sneakers were available. The sales of these sneakers increased by 33% with positive tweets and messages following the campaign by up to 40%.

ROI: sales increase and massive brand awareness.


The campaign on “National Thank You Day” was advertised over many social media networks in the Phillipines and the companies website. The campaign announced October 20th as the “National Thank You Day” for the country and drove over 500,000 website visits. But more importantly, the sales of Toblerone increased by 132% because of the campaign.

ROI: increased sales


After being petitioned by customers to bring back its Wispa bar, Cadbury launched a Twitter and Facebook campaign that saw 40 million chocolate bars sent to stores. In just 18 weeks, the company sold out of all 40 million bars. This campaign added 30% to the company’s annual profits, and made some customers very happy (it’s not called Joyville for nothing!!)

ROI: brand awareness and massive sales generation

But what about B2B?

But what does that mean for business to business companies? Social media ROI can be especially difficult for B2B marketers. Eight out of ten B2B marketers don’t believe the hype of social media marketing.

Without having the luxury of business to consumer companies, B2B can’t directly link social media efforts to return. That’s where it gets complicated: metrics need to be used. In order to really understand the potential of social media for B2B, a handful of metrics should be used and then weighted by the relative value they give to the organisation.

A complex thought you might say. But it’s really not too difficult. Take the metrics, for example, distribution and influence, and weigh them. These are top social media measures that can be applied to a B2B company, but only if the company truly values them.

Once weighted you can really get to see the ROI that social media brings

Social media increasingly needs to be viewed as a tool to assist sales for B2B companies. With a multitude of media channels available, social media is yet another way to reach clients where they are. Without social media, business to business companies are missing out on valuable opportunities.

If we can help you get a better return from your social media marketing or get your social media set up for your and then train you, we’d be delighted to help. You can drop us a note or give us a call.

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