Whatever the product, person or promotion, social media has provided a platform to market it. The ubiquity and constant evolution of social media tools combine to test the fortitude of marketing departments everywhere. Individuals and organizations have refined the art of social media marketing, but the science behind it remains relatively abstract.
The challenge of measuring social media marketing effectiveness has prompted case studies by outlets such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, whose findings are the subject of a useful infographic from social media software company Psoshul. The data reveals how 10 companies have connected to online communities to bypass traditional research and test marketing, generate buzz through discount promotions and—most importantly—increase overall sales.
Other studies have found big ROI on little social media interactions, but among these 10 companies a common practice may be a narrowed approach to using social tools. Measuring effectiveness requires concentrating marketing energy on a specific narrative or function. Some brands focused on building community, others on developing a direct ordering channel, yet others on generating viral promotions. The ideal use of social platforms may prove as unique as the entity behind them, but the key to generating a healthy ROI may be identifying that ideal use.