There I’ve said it. And I’m not sorry (even though I know I’ll be getting some push back on this one). As I see it, the results are in. On survey after survey, small to medium B2B marketers are challenged with measuring social media’s impact on their demand generation. While a lucky few (and I do mean FEW) of our clients have the tools, time, and resources to manage some level of measurement, for most of our clients it’s a painful, manual process or none at all.
Traditional wisdom says – if you can’t measure it – and you don’t know if it’s working – don’t do it. Normally I’d agree with this, but in this case I’m going to push back a little and in fact state the impact of social media on demand generation is not something small to medium marketers should worry about.
- We’ve all seen the surveys, studies and whitepapers on the impact of social media in B2B marketing. It’s clear it’s works, it’s here to stay (and grow) and leaving this powerful tool out of the mix because YOU personally can’t measure it is a mistake. This is a great place for “follow the leader” – do it because it works for others. Now that doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon ALL measurements – just the ones that try to show the connection between your social activity and leads. Instead, focus on the activity metrics (like number of followers, likes, retweets, etc.) that show how effective your efforts are.
- You lose all credibility if you’re not social – or even worse – if your last post was July 2011. With 93% of the buyers starting their search online, ALL of your online properties need to be helpful and current. Imagine I’m on your site and I see you’re on LinkedIn (so am I!). I visit the page to find out the last thing you posted was a happy holidays note in 2011. What does that tell me about you? (Nothing good.) If you don’t have the resources to maintain your social presence on multiple sites, pick one and do it really well. Alternately, get some help. We routinely help partners with tools, resources and content to keep their social presence robust.
- Social media DOES impact SEO. I almost hate to add this one. It’s obvious and may be the reason so many are still engaged with social at some level even without a clear connection to lead generation. Unfortunately – that can drive some bad behavior – like stuffing your social posts with a ton of keywords and writing for bots instead of the humans that will ultimately visit your page. A social network with nothing but self-promotional posts will tell a buyer a lot about you.
So what do you think? Is it time to stop measuring? Or have you found the secret to connecting your social efforts with the leads generated?