As social media continues to grow in its reach and sophistication, it is becoming a more and more powerful tool for business as well. This seems to be especially true in developed markets such as the United States. A recent survey conducted by Regus, Inc. shows growth in two key areas, in fact:
1) More Businesses are Investing in Social Media
The survey first found that social media use among businesses is growing worldwide. No surprise there. Across the globe, the number of businesses that use social media for business acquisition rose from 40% to 47% from 2010 to 2011. The gains were highest in China and India, but still significant in more developed nations like the US and the UK.
Interestingly, though, the total percentage of businesses using social media for customer acquisition is significantly higher in both China and India than in either the US or the UK—which just goes to show that you can still get a leg up on your local competition!
2) If You Use It, They Will Come
More importantly, the survey showed that companies that used social media to acquire customers were more likely to see their revenue increase than those companies that did not use social media. This was true for developed markets such as the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe.
Measuring Success in Social Media
As a relatively new tool, meaningful metrics for social media’s impact are still in their infancy. Of course, there are many different metrics available, but in a new book, Digital Impact, Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer, and Vipin Mayer, EVP of McCann Worldgroup, argue that there are seven metrics (and only seven) that are important to online marketing; these include:
- Qualified Reach/Visits
- Clickthrough Rates
- Brand Perception Lift
- Engagement Score
- End Action Rate
- Efficiency Metrics
- Return on Investment
You can read more about these metrics and how to incorporate them into your social media strategy in their book.
When tracking the success of your social media campaign, it really boils down to two simple things:
- Are you creating lasting relationships with consumers?
- Are you seeing a return on your investment?
Of course, to measure your success, you need to have very specific, measureable goals and objectives. With proper planning, social media is not casting your fate to the wind.
So Why Aren’t You Using It?
Only 43% of American businesses are using social media for customer acquisition. That means 57% aren’t using it. Social media is not a magic bullet for marketing. But it is a powerful tool to add to your arsenal, and when used effectively, it really does work. See some of our previous posts on social media for advice on what to do, and not to do, to get the most out of your social media campaigns.