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