This article by Erin Griffith suggests that there are three stages to social media use amongst companies: growth, engagement and monetization.
Most companies are currently in the growth and engagement stages – with monetization still in the distance – and are therefore measuring ROI in different ways.
There is no standard measurement for ROI in social media, but 88% of companies surveyed believe they are receiving positive return on their various social media programs. Here’s a breakdown of how the 700 marketers surveyed measure ROI:
- 40% measure ROI by increases in fans, likes, comments, and engagement
- 24% measure ROI by revenue increase
- 15% measure ROI by increases in brand awareness.
One last figure, which is not all that surprising to us – only 23% of B2B companies value their Facebook fans over their non-fans.
A lot can be said about this article and how it applies to social media in B2B financial services. Financial services companies are finally accepting that social media is important and more and more companies are asking for strategic guidance. When we talk to clients, the biggest questions are, “How can social media increase revenue for my business” and “How do I measure it?”
It’s true that B2B entities may not value their Facebook fans over their non-fans, but the reason is simple – their customers are not on Facebook. For the majority of financial services companies, Facebook is not the social media channel of choice to reach their customers. Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and forums are much better for establishing relationships and reaching key influencers while establishing a reputation for thought-leadership in the market.
We believe that, as time goes on, we’ll see more and more financial services companies engaging in social media and finding their niche. Does that mean social media always needs to be monetized? Not necessarily. But it should definitely always be in support of clear business objectives and that means – ultimately – in support of growing your bottom-line.