Posts Tagged ‘Peter Schram’

Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips of 2010

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

How can you improve your blog’s position in search engines? Grow your audience? Effectively generate content contributions from subject matter experts in your organization? Produce more stylish and readable content? Find free, high-quality images to add visual appeal to your posts? Avoid common mistakes that can cost you traffic and goodwill?

Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips of 2010Discover the answers to all of these questions and more here in the final selection of the best guides and tips for business blogging from the past year.

Blogging Guides, Tips and Techniques

The Step-by-Step Guide to Guest Blogging by 2 Create a Website

One key way to spread the fame of your own blog is to guest post on others; you reach a new audience, hopefully pick up some new fans, and get valuable backlinks to your blog. Here, Ann Smarty contributes a guest post on best practices in guest posting, from planning your approach and brainstorming topics to following through by responding to comments.

5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to Every Comment by Daily Blog Tips

In another guest post, Pat Flynn details five benefits of actively responding to comments on your blog, such as the fact that doing so encourages more comments: “People don’t leave comments just so they can be left unread. By replying, you’re not only letting people know that you’re actively involved in reading the comments, but you’re encouraging them to come back and comment again later.”

7 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts for Maximum Exposure by Quick Online Tips

In yet another guest post, Jonathan Beebe offers seven common (e.g., promote via Twitter and Facebook) and not-so-obvious (e.g., use automated social bookmarking tools like IMAutomater and Shareaholic tips for increasing traffic to your blog.

How To Optimise Your WordPress Ping List by Pimp My WordPress

A colossal list of more than 120 sites to add to your ping list for automatic notification each time you publish a new post.

Best practices for a killer corporate blog by iMedia Connection

Sarah Hofstetter offers 25 outstanding tips for developing, maintaining and promoting a successful corporate blog, from creating an editorial calendar and incorporating visuals to setting up email distribution and tracking actionable metrics.

Blogs are Becoming the New Front Door for Prospects: Is Yours Open? by MarketingSherpa

Sean Donahue notes that, “If you’re still on the fence about the importance of a company blog, consider this trend: Many B2B marketers report that their team’s blog — not the company homepage — is now the most popular entry point for online visitors,” then provides tips for maximizing company blog success.

Why Host a Blog on Your Corporate Website? by ClickZ

The smart and prolific Mark Jackson supplies five compelling reasons for adding a blog to a company website, both subjective (a blog gives you the opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership) and objective (blogs are much more effective than typical commercial website content at attracting unsolicited links).

What’s Up, Blog? Seven Ways to Revive a Neglected B2B Blog by MLT Creative

Acknowledging that “Blogging is hard work. You must consistently create relevant compelling content,” Martine Hunter presents seven tactics for re-engaging with a neglected blog, including refreshing old blog posts, turning news releases into blog articles, and enlisting guest bloggers to lighten the workload.

A random writing-related pictureHow I Achieved Blogging Success In 30 Days by bizchickblogs

In you guessed it–another guest post–Wayne Howard describes his method for quickly building the following for a new blog, using tactics such as Facebook postings, the BloggerLuv community, Twitter, LinkedIn and contests.

Inciting Insight: How to make thought leaders think by The Communicator

Peter Schram offers a “recipe” for designing a thought leadership program within an organization to create a steady stream of fresh and compelling content, such as priming the pump: “Ideas are usually generated incrementally. This means that the more ‘inspiration’ that a thought leader is exposed to, the more valuable and insightful their ‘Big Ideas’ will be.”

35 Ways to Market Your Blog by Junta42

The brilliant Joe Pulizzi shares his list of 35 “common and some uncommon” methods for promoting a blog, from putting your blog URL on your business cards and leveraging Twitter hashtags to showcasing employees and using the blog as your customer FAQ.

Is blog marketing dead or just growing up? The naked (conversation) facts by conversionation

J-P De Clerck reports that less than half of companies have blogs, despite the fact that “blogs are real social media hubs and cornerstones of inbound marketing.” Furthermore, many of the companies that do blog don’t do it well; nearly three-quarters of all corporate blog posts don’t reflect the company’s message. Given that more than half of all Internet users in the U.S. read blogs, and the figure is expected to rise to 60% in the next four years, J-P notes that corporate blogging, far from being “dead,” is an area of growing importance and opportunity.

How to Make an Awesome Corporate Blog by Entrepreneur Magazine

Bianca Male shares tactics for corporate blog success (such as “Your content should go beyond your company…contribute to the discussion of topics that readers are interested in, by talking about trends in the industry and having thought leaders offer their take, for example”) and links to some noteworthy examples, closing with “If you can’t commit to focusing on fresh, interesting content, avoiding all direct marketing ploys, (and) getting creative and moving beyond boring company info…just don’t do it.”

10 Proven Blog Marketing Tactics You Can Use Today by The Future Buzz

Adam Singer provides 10 valuable tips for effective blogs, including investing in a custom design, connecting with the social web “power users” in your segment, and even making enemies (the kind that will debate you blog-to-blog).

What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs? by KISSmetrics

Cameron Chapman highlights winning corporate blogs (such as The Facebook Blog), discusses the key features and provides takeaways from each (e.g., “having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns”), and concludes with a brief guide to starting a corporate blog.

9 Awesome Ways to Market a Business Blog by HubSpot Blog

Kipp Bodnar details nine techniques for increasing traffic to a company blog, like including your blog URL on business cards and in corporate email signatures, name-dropping media editors and other influencers, and checking out content networks in your niche (content syndication and aggregation sites such as Social Media Informer in the social media space).

Tim Gunn’s Top 5 Tips for More Stylish Content by Copyblogger

Erika Napoletano channels fashion authority Tim Gunn to provide style tips for bloggers, such as “SEO is not the new black” (“you don’t have to optimize every piece of content you create) and “conversation never goes out of style” (embrace comments).

Get High Resolution Photos And Edit For Free by Trailblaze Social Media With Josh

Joshua Lyons reveals his favorite source for free photos and his favorite free online tool for editing them.

Five Key Ingredients for a Successful Corporate Blog by Sysomos

Mark Evans offers five commonsense, but not always adhered to, recommendations for corporate blogging success, starting with the need for quality content: “Content that provides insight, perspective and information. At its core, a corporate blog has to give its readers information they can use to increase their knowledge, learn new things or receive insight.”

Ten Blogging Mistakes I Learned in Year One by Nectar

Josh Wade shares 10 common blogging mistakes to avoid, like misspelling someone’s name when you highlight them in post (oops!), picking fights, trying to be everywhere rather than focusing, and being a conformist.

8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content by Copyblogger

Pamela Wilson suggests that “writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read” is key to attracting greater blog readership, and offers corresponding tips for doing so effectively such as breaking up blocks of copy using subheads, bulleted lists and numbers.

Blog SEO

11 Must Do SEO Tips for WordPress by Better Blog Building

An excellent list of SEO tips for WordPress blogs, including using (optimized) images, installing key plugins like All In One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps Generator, and linking within your posts to relevant older posts.

6 Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines by Social Media Examiner

Jim Lodico offers six helpful tips for improving your blog’s position in search engine results. While the tactics themselves are mostly common knowledge, the value of this post is in the tools Jim recommends (such as SEOCentro’s Meta Tag Analyzer for optimizing meta tags).

7 Ways to Create Blog Content That Attracts More Back Links by Digital Labz

Links are critical both for SEO purposes and attracting direct traffic–but they don’t appear magically. This post provides proven strategies for naturally attracting more backlinks to your blog posts, such as capitalizing on current events, making big lists (think “101 Tips” rather than “10 Tips”) and creating an infographic.

Link Building Tips for Personal Blogs by SEOmoz

Links are SEO fuel, and in this post SEO guru Rand Fishkin helpfully advises bloggers on which link-building tactics to avoid (generic directories, link buying) as well as dozen technigues to use such as niche blog listing sites, answering questions in online forums and social sharing in order to improve your blog’s rank in search.

And Finally…

90 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock by Jeff Bullas

And as if all of ideas above aren’t enough to keep you busy for the next year, Jeff Bullas offers 90 more including writing about industry trends, highlighting customer successes, writing a series of “how to” posts and then turning those into short videos, turn the results of surveys or polls into blog posts and more.

Related Posts

Best Business Blogging Tips and Guides of 2010 (So Far), Part 1

Best Business Blogging Tips and Guides of 2010 (So Far), Part 2

The Step-by-Step Guide to Guest Blogging by 2 Create a Website

http://blog.2createawebsite.com/2010/06/14/the-step-by-step-guide-to-guest-blogging-part-1/

One key way to spread the fame of your own blog is to guest post on others; you reach a new audience, hopefully pick up some

new fans, and get valuable backlinks to your blog. Here, Ann Smarty contributes a guest post on best practices in guest

posting, from planning your approach and brainstorming topics to following through by responding to comments.

5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to Every Comment by Daily Blog Tips

http://www.dailyblogtips.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-respond-to-every-comment/

In another guest post, Pat Flynn details five benefits of actively responding to comments on your blog, such as the fact that

doing so encourages more comments: “People don’t leave comments just so they can be left unread. By replying, you’re not only

letting people know that you’re actively involved in reading the comments, but you’re encouraging them to come back and

comment again later.”

7 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts for Maximum Exposure by Quick Online Tips

http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2010/06/promote-blog-posts/

In yet another [italics] guest post, Jonathan Beebe offers seven obvious (e.g., promote via Twitter and Facebook) and not-so-

obvious (e.g., use automated social bookmarking tools like IMAutomater [http://www.imautomator.com/] and Shareaholic

[http://www.shareaholic.com/]) tips for increasing traffic to your blog.

How To Optimise Your WordPress Ping List by Pimp My WordPress

http://www.pimpmywordpress.com/wordpress-tutorials/optimise-wordpress-ping-list

A colossal list of more than 120 sites to add to your ping list for automatic notification each time you publish a new post.

Best practices for a killer corporate blog by iMedia Connection

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/27253.asp

Sarah Hofstetter offers 25 outstanding tips for developing, maintaining and promoting a successful corporate blog, from

creating an editorial calendar and incorporating visuals to setting up email distribution and tracking actionable metrics.

Blogs are Becoming the New Front Door for Prospects: Is Yours Open? by MarketingSherpa

http://sherpablog.marketingsherpa.com/business-to-business/the-importance-of-b2b-blogs/

Sean Donahue notes that, “If you’re still on the fence about the importance of a company blog, consider this trend: Many B2B

marketers report that their team’s blog — not the company homepage — is now the most popular entry point for online visitors,”

then provides tips for maximizing company blog success.

Why Host a Blog on Your Corporate Website? by ClickZ

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1727984/why-host-blog-your-corporate-website

The smart and prolific Mark Jackson [http://webbiquity.com/?s=Mark+Jackson] supplies five compelling reasons for adding a blog

to a company website, both subjective (a blog gives you the opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership) and objective

(blogs are much more effective than typical commercial website content at attracting unsolicited links).

What’s Up, Blog? Seven Ways to Revive a Neglected B2B Blog by MLT Creative

http://www.mltcreative.com/blog/bid/37259/What-s-Up-Blog-Seven-Ways-to-Revive-a-Neglected-B2B-Blog

Acknowledging that “Blogging is hard work. You must consistently create relevant compelling content,” Martine Hunter presents

seven tactics for re-engaging with a neglected blog, including refreshing old blog psots, turning news releases into blog

articles, and enlisting guest bloggers to lighten the workload.

How I Achieved Blogging Success In 30 Days by bizchickblogs

http://www.bizchickblogs.com/2010/09/blogging-success.html

In you guessed it–another guest post–Wayne Howard describes his method for quickly building the following for a new blog,

using tactics such as Facebook postings, the BloggerLuv [http://www.bloggerluv.com/] community, Twitter, LinkedIn and

contests.

Inciting Insight: How to make thought leaders think by The Communicator

http://communicationsunlimited.ca/blog/2010/09/08/inciting-insight

Peter Schram offers a “recipe” for designing a thought leadership program within an organization to create a steady stream of

fresh and compelling content, such as priming the pump: “Ideas are usually generated incrementally. This means that the more

‘inspiration’ that a thought leader is exposed to, the more valuable and insightful their ‘Big Ideas’ will be.”

35 Ways to Market Your Blog by Junta42

http://blog.junta42.com/content_marketing_blog/2010/09/ways-to-market-your-blog.html

The brilliant Joe Pulizzi [http://webbiquity.com/?s=Joe+Pulizzi] shares his list of 35 “common and some uncommon” methods for

promoting a blog, from putting your blog URL on your business cards and leveraging Twitter hashtags to showcasing employees

and using the blog as your customer FAQ.

Is blog marketing dead or just growing up? The naked (conversation) facts by conversionation

http://www.conversionation.net/blog/bid/46187/Is-blog-marketing-dead-or-just-growing-up-The-naked-conversation-facts

J-P De Clerck reports that less than half of companies have blogs, despite the fact that “blogs are real social media hubs and

cornerstones of inbound marketing.” Furthermore, many of the companies that do blog don’t do it well; nearly three-quarters of

all corporate blog posts don’t reflect the company’s message. Given that more than half of all Internet users in the U.S. read

blogs, and thr figure is expected to rise to 60% in the next four years, J-P notes that corporate blogging, far from being

“dead,” is an area of growing importance and opportunity.

How to Make an Awesome Corporate Blog by Entrepreneur Magazine

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217393

Bianca Male shares tactics for corporate blog success (such as “Your content should go beyond your company…contribute to the

discussion of topics that readers are interested in, by talking about trends in the industry and having thought leaders offer

their take, for example”) and links to some noteworthy examples, closing with “If you can’t commit to focusing on fresh,

interesting content, avoiding all direct marketing ploys, (and) getting creative and moving beyond boring company info…just

don’t do it.”

10 Proven Blog Marketing Tactics You Can Use Today by The Future Buzz

http://thefuturebuzz.com/2010/10/04/blog-marketing-tactics/

Adam Singer provides 10 valuable tips for effective blogs, including investing in a custom design, connecting with the social

web “power users” in your segment, and even making enemies (the kind that will debate you blog-to-blog).

What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs? by KISSmetrics

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/7-awesome-corporate-blogs/

Cameron Chapman highlights winning corporate blogs (such as The Facebook Blog [http://blog.facebook.com/]), discusses the key

features and provides takeaways from each (e.g., “aving a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your

organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns”), and

concludes with a brief guide to starting a corporate blog.

9 Awesome Ways to Market a Business Blog by HubSpot Blog

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6788/9-Awesome-Ways-to-Market-a-Business-Blog.aspx

Kipp Bodnar [http://webbiquity.com/?s=Kipp+Bodnar] details nine techniques for increasing traffic to a company blog, like

including your blog URL on business cards and in corporate email signatures, name-dropping media editors and other

influencers, and checking out content networks in your niche (content syndication and aggregation sites such as Social Media

Informer [http://www.socialmediainformer.com] in the social media space).

11 Must Do SEO Tips for WordPress by Better Blog Building

http://betterblogbuilding.com/10-must-do-seo-tips-for-wordpress/

An excellent list of SEO tips for WordPress blogs, including using (optimized) images, installing key plugins like All In One

SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps Generator, and linking within your posts to relevant older posts.

6 Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines by Social Media Examiner

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-ways-to-optimize-your-blog-for-search-engines/

Jim Lodico offers six helpful tips for improving your blog’s postion in search engine results. While the tactics themselves

are mostly common knowledge, the value of this post is in the tools Jim recommends (such as SEOCentro’s Meta Tag Analyzer

[http://www.seocentro.com/tools/search-engines/metatag-analyzer.html] for optimizing meta tags).

Tim Gunn’s Top 5 Tips for More Stylish Content by Copyblogger

http://www.copyblogger.com/tim-gunn/

Erika Napoletano channels fashion authority Tim Gunn [http://www.fabsugar.com/10-Fashion-Essentials-According-Tim-Gunn-763661]

to provide style tips for bloggers, such as SEO is not the new black (“you don’t have to optimize every piece of content you

create) and conversation never goes out of style (embrace comments).

Get High Resolution Photos And Edit For Free by Trailblaze Social Media With Josh

http://joshuajlyons.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/get-high-resolution-photos-and-edit-for-free/

Joshua Lyons reveals his favorite source for free photos and his favorite free online tool for editing them.

Five Key Ingredients for a Successful Corporate Blog by Sysomos

http://blog.sysomos.com/2010/11/03/five-key-ingredients-for-a-successful-corporate-blog/

Mark Evans offers five commonsense, but not always adhered to, recommendations for corporate blogging success, starting with

the need for quality content: “Content that provides insight, perspective and information. At its core, a corporate blog has

to give its readers information they can use to increase their knowledge, learn new things or receive insight.”

7 Ways to Create Blog Content That Attracts More Back Links by Digital Labz

http://digitallabz.com/blogs/7-ways-to-create-blog-content-that-attracts-more-back-links.html

Links are critical both for SEO purposes and attracting direct traffic–but they don’t appear magically. This post provides

proven strategies for naturally attracting more backlinks to your blog posts, such as capitalizing on current events, making

big lists (think “101 Tips” rather than “10 Tips”) and creating an infographic.

Link Building Tips for Personal Blogs by SEOmoz

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/link-building-tips-for-personal-blogs

Links are SEO fuel, and in this post SEO guru Rand Fishkin helpfully advises bloggers on which link-building tactics to avoid

(generic directories, link buying) as well as dozen technigues to use such as niche blog listing sites, answering questions in

online forums and social sharing in order to improve your blog’s rank in search.

Ten Blogging Mistakes I Learned in Year One by Nectar

http://drinknectar.com/2010/11/24/ten-blogging-mistakes-i-learned-in-year-one/

Josh Wade shares 10 common blogging mistakes to avoid, like misspelling someone’s name when you highlight them in post (oops),

picking fights, trying to be everywhere rather than focusing, and being a conformist.

8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content by Copyblogger

http://www.copyblogger.com/scannable-content/

Pamela Wilson suggests that “writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read” is key to attracting greater blog

readership, and offers corresponding tips for doing so effectively such as breaking up blocks of copy using subheads, bulleted

lists and numbers.

90 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock by Jeff Bullas

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/12/02/90-tips-to-make-your-blog-rock/

And as if all of ideas above aren’t enough to keep you busy for the next year, Jeff Bullas offers 90 more including writing

about industry trends, highlighting customer successes, writing a series of “how to” posts and then turning those into short

videos, turn the results of surveys or polls into blog posts and more.

Post to Twitter

The Social Media ROI Debate

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Can the financial return on expenditures for social media business activities– in marketing, PR, customer support, HR, product development or other areas — be accurately measured? Can social media costs be justified on the P&L, so that as belts get ever tighter in this stagnant economy, these projects and tasks can be spared the budget axe?

Social Media ROI Debate? Not ExactlyAmong social media pundits, the debate rages on. The “yes” crowd argues that of course social media can be measured, and must be in order to demonstrate value to the business. You wouldn’t buy a new machine tool or enterprise software application without an ROI analysis, so why should social media be any different? Executives don’t care about shiny sparkly things or the latest fads or buzzwords; you’d better know what you want to accomplish, be able to quantify both expenses and revenue, and have the analytics in place to track results before even murmuring the words “social media” in the presence of C-level types.

The “no” group will counter that the metrics and tools haven’t yet matured, or that social media is too amorphous to even be measurable, or that it is rapidly becoming simply part of the plumbing or wiring of a modern organization, making ROI immaterial.

My own thoughts (for what they’re worth) on the matter are that:

  • • It’s challenging to measure the true ROI of social media activities with any precision because social media is as much (if not more) about influence than direct action. For example, if John Doe clicks through to your website from a tweet and buys something, that’s easy to measure. But if John Doe is influenced to buy from you based a tweet—but completes the purchase through another unrelated channel—there’s no way to assign the value of that sale to Twitter.
  • • That said, there are many aspects of social media that can and should be measured, both to show results and to help guide future activities (e.g. determining which topics generate the highest traffic and comment activity on a company blog, what time of day is most productive for tweeting, etc.). In other words, the statement “ROI is challenging to measure accurately” shouldn’t be confused with “don’t bother trying measure anything.”
  • • Metrics can be useful to help determine what to do more of, less of, or differently, but should not as the basis for whether or not to engage in social media. At this point, the adoption of social media tools is so widespread as to constitute just another communication channel. It makes no more sense for a business to shun social media until ROI can be demonstrated than it does to demand an ROI analysis for installing phone lines or email.

So much for my thoughts. What do other pundits have to say? Below are summaries of a variety of posts on the topic of social media ROI measurement from luminaries such as Danny Brown, Brian Solis, Erik Qualman, Michelle Golden and Sharlyn Lauby divided into their respective camps: yes, no, and maybe.

Is social media ROI measurable? Yes.

The Real Cost of Social Media by Danny Brown

This isn’t strictly speaking an ROI article, but Danny does dive into the “I” part of that measure, detailing the true costs (investment) of social media participation.

20 Metrics To Effectively Track Social Media Campaigns by Search Engine Land

Chris Bennett lays out the list of metrics he uses to analyze, track and “prove ROI’ from social media marketing. Compelling piece except for his use of the phrase social media campaign (argh).

Social Media ROI – How 3 B2B Technology Companies Are Achieving Revenue Results by MarCom Ink

Kim Cornwall Malseed summarizes the social media wisdom and ROI results gleaned from a panel of b2b marketing pros including Holger Schulze of SafeNet, Frank Strong of Vocus and Susan Cato of CompTIA. She reports on the revenue achieved, social media strategies used and measurement systems employed for tracking.

ROI: How to Measure Return on Investment in Social Media by Social Media Today

In this long but worthwhile post, Brian Solis reviews the evolution of social media measurement forms (e.g. “return on engagement”), the disconnect between social media marketers (most of whom can’t measure ROI) and CMOs (most of whom expect it), then offers his recommendations for improving the measurement of business objectives from social media.

Sexy Numbers: Measuring ROI in Social Media Campaigns by ReveNews

While acknowledging that tight precision is impossible because the same measures from different tools rarely match exactly (and multiple tools are still needed to end-to-end social media tracking), Angel Djambazov nevertheless makes a strong case for developing ROI metrics for social media campaigns. Quoting Brian Solis and others, Angel points out that particularly in this economy, even great ideas without a hard-number rationale are likely to get slashed; ROI measurements are needed because CMOs demand them. The post also includes some strategies, tactics and tools to assist in social media measurement.

Social Media Monitoring Techniques by WebFadds

Scott Frangos presents a concise but clear outline of basic social media ROI measurement objectives, tools and analytics.

Counterpoint: Why you can calculate an ROI in social media – and why you should do it by iMedia Connection

Uwe Hook responds to the post from Ben Cathers (in the “No” section below) on why social media ROI can’t be measured, laying out a roadmap using metrics such as frequency, yield, sentiment analysis, NetPromoter score and customer lifetime value.

Socialnomics: What Social Media Success Looks Like by Fuel Lines

Michael Gass shares a social media ROI argument in video format. “Socialnomics: Social Media ROI showcases what social media success looks like. Social Media ROI: Socialnomics is by Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business author Erik Qualman. This video highlights several Social Media ROI examples along with other effective Social Media Strategies.” Though a few of the examples are vague or misleading, most are compelling. However, after showcasing companies that have achieved remarkable, quantifiable results through social media, Qualman provocatively asks, “Why are we trying to measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social media touches every facet of business and more an extension of good business ethics…When I’m asked about the ROI of Social Media sometimes the appropriate response is…What’s the ROI of your phone?” He seems to suggest that while ROI is measurable, it’s immaterial. Hmm. You can find more of Eric’s insights on his Socialnomics blog.

Making sense of social-media ROI with Olivier Blanchard by SmartBlog on Social Media

Rob Birgfeld talks with Olivier Blanchard, introduced as “perhaps the most sought-after expert for those looking to connect the dots between social media and return-on-investment.” Perhaps. Blanchard contends that most self-proclaimed social media “experts” have difficulty articulating ROI because they have no business management background (agreed, I’ve seen these types — which is why our agency has an MBA who helps clients with social media). With that background, he argues that “the question can be answered in about three minutes. All it takes is someone on the social-media side of the table who understands how to plug new communications into a business from the C-suite’s perspective.” He also makes the case that being able to prove social media ROI is essential. The post just doesn’t specify how to do this.

Social Media ROI — No.

Social media (finally) returns value by The Communicator

Peter Schram doesn’t come right out and say that social media ROI can’t be measured, but rather that organizations should “focus on five key areas where social media will create actual value” that aren’t strictly about sales ROI, including corporate reputation, employee engagement and customer service.

“What’s the ROI of Social Media?” Is the Wrong Question by Golden Practices Blog

Michelle Golden makes a compelling argument that ROI calculations apply only to discrete projects with a beginning, middle and end, such as a direct mail campaign. Social media is a tool, not an event, so such calculations don’t apply.

5 Problems With Measuring Social Marketing by Web Worker Daily

Aliza Sherman articulates some of the frustrations with any social media measurement, much less something as precise as ROI, including the fact that the term “social media” is nebulous and that many traditional marketing concepts (e.g., “reach,” “promotions” and “campaigns”) simply don’t apply to social media –and the industry hasn’t yet developed widely accepted new measures (though Daniel Flamberg attempted to answer this last challenge in 4 Social Media Mining Metrics).

Why you can’t calculate an ROI in social media – and that’s okay by iMedia Connection

Ben Cathers argues that, because the advanced analytics tools that would be required for such measurement have not yet been developed, “In many forms of digital media, you can spend 1 dollar knowing you will earn 1.30…Unfortunately, you cannot do the same in social media, just yet.” He suggests instead that marketers estimate the payback on social media by assigning a value to metrics they can track, such as each follower, each retweet, each “like” of an item, etc.

CEOs Love Pie: The B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 2 by iMedia Connection

In this follow-up post to Conversations that Aren’t about Mel Gibson: the B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 1, Eric Anderson writes that “today you can’t throw a virtual rock without hitting five blog posts about how we all need to simmer down about ROI,” and places himself firmly in the “simmer down” camp. He recommends instead serving them pie, as in pie charts showing measures like “the proportion of their paid impressions that can be replaced or augmented with free impressions. PR agencies have long been selling the value of this pie as earned media or ‘ad equivalency value,’ so CEOs are used to seeing it. They get it. Once you’ve done your social media market analysis, it’s relatively easy to project how big that social media pie wedge will be.”

Social Media ROI…Maybe.

Quantifying Social Results by eMarketer

eMarketer reports that while marketing pros generally agree that quantifying the benefit of social media marketing is important, they are split on whether it is possible. Measuring certain types of activity or behavior is easy; translating those measures into ROI, not so much. As this article notes, “There is a leap, however, between finding appropriate metrics and monitoring them on the one hand, and quantifying results on the other. Marketers must tie the social metrics they settle on directly to business goals, such as increased sales and leads, before social media return on investment can be quantified.”

A call for more accountable social media marketing by iMedia Connection

After acknowledging that “ROI is difficult, if not impossible, to measure with social media. An astounding majority of professionals do not even try to take it into account.  According to a survey late last year from Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club, 72 percent of CMOs did not attach revenue assumptions to social media in 2009,” Jerry McLaughlin goes on to say that marketers must do it anyway. For example, one of his recommendations is to “reach specific social media goals with a tangible ROI, such as tracked discounts or coupons.” While that’s certainly not a bad suggestion, it covers only one very limited aspect of what social media marketing can do.

5 Ways To Set Goals & Measure Social Media Marketing Success by Smart Insights

Danyl Bosomworth summarizes a Jason Falls presentation on various ways to measure social media outcomes. While the post seems to suggest that measuring ROI is easy (measurement #5 casually includes “generation of sales and leads from blog visitors and from social interactions”), it also points out several other benefits that unquestionably have value (e.g., product innovation, branding and awareness, links for SEO benefit), though that value may be difficult to quantify. The message seems to be that if you can directly measure sales and leads then by all means do so, but recognize that social media can provide many other important though less quantifiable rewards.

Marketers Use Varying ROI for Social Media by Marketing Charts

According to a new study from King Fish Media, Hubspot and Junta 42 summarized in this post, most marketers perform some type of social media measurement (e.g., website visits from social media referral sites, new fans/followers, number of links shared, etc.). However, nearly half (43%) admit that they aren’t even trying to measure ROI. And only 29% say “they will have to show positive ROI to continue their social media programs.”

How CEOs are Using Social Media for Real Results by Mashable

Though Sharlyn Lauby shares numbers here from two CEOs able to correlate hard sales data with their social media efforts, she also points out that “even when there might not be data supporting a direct relationship between social media activity and sales, sometimes other metrics point to the connection” such as exposure, branding, customer satisfaction, recommendations, even employee recruiting. The conclusion seems to be that ROI may or may not be measurable, depending on a company’s specific circumstances — or at least that not all of the benefits of social media can be captured in precise sales and ROI figures.

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