As marketers await Facebook’s latest round of upgrades with a mixture of hope and trepidation, let’s take a look at how fan engagement translates into meaningful measures of business success. Contrary to C-suite skepticism, social media can do more than drive traffic – it can deliver sales.
Social media enthusiasts are often accused of being soft on numbers – we’re more concerned with warm and fuzzy measurements like “resonance” and “impressions.” Former Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett famously proclaimed, “Return on Engagement is the new ROI.” I’m still trying to figure out why social media analytics are any fuzzier than Gross Rating Points (GRPs), the percentage of your target demo that is “reached” via TV and radio programming and Cost Per Thousand (CPM), which is based on impressions, i.e., eyeballs that see your print ad or outdoor signage. Why are impressions of eyeballs driving by a billboard any more reliable than impressions of eyeballs glued to a computer monitor? In fact, you could argue that people are more likely to be engaged with advertising two feet from their face than they are with billboards viewed peripherally while navigating traffic. But I digress …
Let’s talk brass tacks. High nails. Bottom lines. Yep, social media can do that.
Specifically, Facebook can deliver sales.
For example, Tombras client Bristol Motor Speedway added a pre-race “Buy Tickets” custom tab to its Facebook page during the build up to The IRWIN Tools Night Race, generating an 11,000% increase in traffic to the ticket sales portal from Facebook, resulting in a significant increase in ticket sales. Of course, there was a multi-layered, integrated marketing campaign in place to support that effort. But that’s true of any well-planned advertising effort. Furthermore, BMS conducted a “50 Days of Giveaways” Facebook contest that increased its fan base by 20% and its active user base by 206% creating an owned media channel of pre-qualified ticket buyers.
Tombras helped another client, Weigel’s Convenience Stores, conduct a holistic, cross-platform campaign to celebrate the family-owned and operated company’s 80th anniversary. “80 Days of Wow” featured radio, outdoor, digital, POP, PR and social, resulting in a 57% increase in Facebook fans and a 65% increase in active users. More importantly, the campaign generated a significant lift in foot traffic and overall sales increases.
We’re working on a social media campaign as part of a brand relaunch of Sonic Automotive’s Momentum Auto Dealers of Oklahoma. “Building Momentum” involves built-from-scratch Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter channels as well as a dedicated microsite and traditional advertising and public relations. Six weeks into the campaign, it’s too early to gauge the results, but our client is optimistic and so are we.
Here at The Tombras Group, we’re not just talking the talk when it comes to social media, we’re walking the walk, online in real time, day in and day out for our clients, including local, regional and national brands across a broad range of industries. We’re converting fans into customers and delivering sales, directly and indirectly, via Facebook and a host of social channels.
Here’s am excerpt from Sherilynn Macale’s recent post, “Social media ROI: It’s not about immediate results”:
To borrow a phrase from Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Seller, Crush It!, measuring immediate return on investment in social media is like measuring the ROI of your mom and everything she’s done for you. Don’t just use social media to broadcast company information — use it to foster the long-term reputation and well-being of your brand. Use it to engage with potentially loyal consumers. Grow those relationships.
So am I talking out of both sides of my mouth? Yes. Because you can’t discount ROE when it comes to ROI.
Related Article: How to Estimate Your Social Media Return on Investment