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Five Ways SMBs Can Track the ROI of Social Media Ads

by Irv Shapiro  |  
January 4, 2013

Twitter's announcement in 2012 that it would partner with American Express to expand its advertising program for small businesses is just one example of the trend toward increased social media ad spend.

By providing small businesses easier access to "promoted tweets" and other advertising opportunities, Twitter has leveled the playing field in an advertising space that until now had been dominated by large, global brands.

But before small and midsize businesses (SMBs) embrace new advertising opportunities offered by Twitter or other social networking providers, they need to seriously consider how to go about measuring the ROI impact of specific social media ad investments. These days, it isn't enough to tie ROI to "brand awareness" or generic sales fluctuations.

More than ever, SMBs need the ability to attach meaningful ROI metrics to specific social media ad investments.

SMBs can achieve granular ROI insights about the effectiveness of social media ad investments. By using a combination of online and offline strategies, marketers can gather valuable information about the ways social media users are interacting with the company's online marketing content—as well as information about overall ad performance.

1. Unique local phone numbers

According to Harris Interactive, 77% of online adults want help from a person before making an online purchase. One of the easiest ways to offer such help while connecting ROI to specific social ad investments is to include a unique, local phone number directly in the social media ad.

By relying on a call-tracking solution, marketers can easily pinpoint the origin of a lead and attach ROI to each social ad campaign. When deployed in combination with robust, voice-based marketing automation tools, unique local numbers drive sales by enabling businesses to instantly respond to leads generated in the social space.

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Irv Shapiro is CEO and CTO at DialogTech, a voice-based marketing automation company. He is responsible for overall business strategy and corporate leadership.

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  • by Jimmy Moscoso Sat Jan 5, 2013 via iphone

    All of these steps can be accomplished easily these days. Need a dedicated phone number? Create one with Google Voice, or buy a MagicJack portable number, to name a few. In these two cases one can track all incoming calls for follow up. To capture the ROI on ads spent these are the steps in order I would take: 1. Create the ad or call to action (CTA) with a main keyword to be contained throughout the next steps, and add a URL tracker such as bitly. 2. Create a landing page where the URL needs to land at. The landing page should contain: the main keyword, one image, informative content about the specific campaign, and an action step to give something away such as a free ebook, free voucher, etc. 3. Follow up email to a thank you page for additional information and start of the conversion process. 4. Run reports on your tracker url app to see your conversion rates at the end of the cycle, and improve upon. These are some basic steps that will get me close to see my Return on Investment (ROI).

  • by Robyn Federman Mon Jan 7, 2013 via web

    You can also track by adding custom tags to your URL, which in today's digitally-oriented world is easier and less expensive than a unique phone number.

  • by treb Tue Jan 8, 2013 via web

    definitely true... I was reading the article and was blown away... I also strongly agree with the comments below...

  • by Michelle Wood Fri Feb 1, 2013 via web

    Great article. I was just having this discussion with one of my potentially new clients. The most difficult thing I have found is explaining that there is a way to track how your social efforts are working, but it is not an immediate response. It takes as much time to nurture the social aspects of marketing as it does to nurture the face-to-face efforts.

  • by Stevie Tue Apr 28, 2015 via web

    Two very important features:
    1. Keeping the branded phone number and
    2. What happens after the call.

    As an advertiser, you should be able to keep original number and also be able to send data to Google Analytics if call ended in a sale (so you can see the results of each call on GA). Call tracking can really help with this.

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