Some thoughts about ROI tangible and intangible benefits
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By Kevin McIntosh
If your bank is considering social media marketing, it’s likely that the question of ROI is one that keeps coming up. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an Einstein to figure out some of the answers.
One thing to keep in mind is that Social Media Marketing seldom falls into a “promotions” type approach, unless of course, you’ve injected some kind of idea such as Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice Facebook app or Will It Blend’s infamous viral video.
I believe, however, for the average community bank that if you enter social media marketing hoping for that kind of quick hit, you’ll come away disappointed. First of all, the cost to develop a viral idea that’s creative enough to generate a ton of exposure can itself be costly. A look around YouTube will tell you that for every $50 Will It Blend video there’s thousands more that never get more than a few dozen views.
You need to think of social media marketing as having a cumulative impact, such as a traditional branding or PR campaign.
Fortunately, with tools such as Google Analytics and social media monitoring tools such as Radian6, you can measure the progress your bank’s social media marketing campaign is making and align it with objectives in the marketing funnel.
Here are just three quick ideas on measuring social media marketing ROI for bank:
1. ROI on bank customer support costs
Your bank blog may have content that answers customer questions that otherwise, might only be answered through a live conversation that would require a bank employee’s time. In fact, you could end up with a particular post that may address a question that gets asked several times a week.
2. ROI on getting free social media exposure versus paid exposure
If you have content that you can see was viewed by 500 customers in a month, what would have been the equivalent cost of getting that message out there in a newspaper, direct mail effort or broadcast spot (if the content was video)?
3. ROI of bank customer feedback
Social media marketing involves listening to your audience to detect trends, needs and interests. The feedback your bank receives in a social media marketing campaign should constantly be shaping your bank’s brand to be creating brand loyalty and creating brand advocates. The ROI aspects of this can include increased customer retention rates and decreased acquisition costs.
Now, perhaps more than ever, bank marketing directors are being held more and more accountable for results. The good news is that the results of a social media marketing campaign are very measurable. It’s just that because of the inherent difference of social media, what’s being measured may be different than some of your more traditional marketing metrics.
A lot more of the ROI aspects are covered in my social media marketing workshop, The Social Media Marketing Journey.
Kevin McIntosh has over 15 years of bank branding experience. His “Social Media Marketing Journey” workshop is available for community banks and other financial institutions.