When my friends at Rahvalor asked me to write a guest blog for their site I began to think about the common thread between my company, Defined Logic, and Rahvalor for a topic. “How to best market your business using social networking” was an obvious answer but the question remained: strategy.
In a territory so emerging (at viral speeds) with little to no hard data on ROI, nor “Facebook Likes-to-sales conversions” statistics available, proven strategy still seems up for grabs. How do we measure the success of social marketing efforts?
Needing a little break, I tabled the matter in the back of my mind and decided to do a little shopping. As a mother of two, in the process of a move, I got online and began to search for “children’s twin beds”. I found two beds I thought would be good in my new place but wasn’t sure which one to choose.
Knowing my sister to be an expert on all kids related purchases, I decided to ask her which of the two would best suit my needs. Without the thought of directly emailing her even crossing my mind, I posted links to the two beds on her Facebook wall. I figured why not have her friends and my friends chime in if they had valuable input as I ask her for her opinion on this purchase decision?
As suspected, she gave me her choice and I also heard from several mutual friends. I added to the end of the comment thread that I would definitely be buying XYZ bed, as that was not only her first choice, but the first choice of most others.
As I whipped out my credit card and completed the transaction, it dawned on me: I had just defined the essence of social media to sales conversions organically. That elusive ROI for social media marketing budgets that CEOs are so eagerly trying to nail down happened right there in front of me.
As a social media marketing client manager at Defined Logic, this made me laugh. To my tech savvy, tweeting, mashable friends, this was obviously some sort of synergistic marketing campaign, aimed at their demographic, to buy “XYZ twin sized beds for kids”.
In reality, I simply needed a kid’s twin bed and wanted to ask my sister about the two I liked. Just as if we were shopping together along with approximately 600 of our “closest” friends.
The beauty of social media as a marketing tool is also part of what makes it frustrating for marketers engrossed in ROI statistics. Psychologists have studied the “social” nature of humans for ages and even as we build on our limited knowledge of “what makes us tick”, one thing is clear: people are complex beings and we make decisions in complex – and social – ways.
What to do next with this unique knowledge… well, that’s the question we’ll have to keep trying to answer.