Deriving a ROI out of Social Engagement Applications

@Will | Development, Social

There are still many skeptics, but deriving a real return on investment (ROI) from social applications is far from impossible.  Follow these steps and you’ll narrow it down to an affordable and achievable reality.


Ask the Right Questions Up Front

Identify the business goals that will prove there’s a value to investing in social application such as:

  1. What are marketing’s quarterly and annual goals?  Are they all centered on sales or is brand awareness also in the mix?
  2. What are  the company’s digital sales pipeline targets? Which targets can be nurtured with marketing?
  3. What traditional marketing channels are considered “valuable” and “effective”? How can they be leveraged online?
  4. How do most customers/consumers currently interact with this brand? Which channels do they prefer?

Justify the Investment

When you have the answers to these questions, you should have a clear picture of what type of information is important to justify the investment.  You are now officially “poised” to formulate an engagement application that not only targets consumers in their preferred digital outposts but you have an idea of what motivates them to purchase and have the baseline metrics to use to demonstrate campaign effectiveness.

Additionally, depending on what kind of product(s)/services your brand sells, you may be able to place users directly into a digital pipeline, and nurture them for years to come – ultimately driving sales.

But focus — next you have to come up with an exciting, meaningful and fun digital experience!  More on that and the accompanying additional best practices here…

Summing It Up

Once your app is built and tested, make sure you hook it into analytics.  Collecting valuable information is the first step, making a cool app is the next, and optimizing your user experience is final piece of the puzzle.  Understanding the behavior of users will help you make the next app more effective.  The better the user experience, the easier it is for users to engage and become a lead.

And remember — build your social engagement applications around:

  1. The collection of un-invasive attainable data from your market.
  2. An exciting meaningful and engaging digital experience.
  3. Measure it all.

Additions & Feedback

If you have additional links, sources or ideas that you think would be helpful, please comment below.

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