ROI Rankings: Facebook Deemed More Important Than Twitter and LinkedIn, Less Than Google

ROI Rankings: Facebook Deemed More Important Than Twitter and LinkedIn, Less Than Google
September 16, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff

AdAgeRBC-Online-Ad-Platforms-Ranked-by-ROI-Importance-Sept2013 Asked to rank 5 key online advertising platforms by importance in terms of ROI, respondents to a survey conducted by Ad Age and RBC Capital Markets put Google on top, giving it an average rating of 2.1 on a 6-point scale of importance, where 1 is the most important. Google edged out Facebook (average rating of 2.22), from which 9 in 10 respondents are seeing either improved (42.7%) or steady (48.3%) ROI over the past 6 months.
AdAgeRBC-Online-Ad-Platforms-Ranked-by-ROI-Importance-Sept2013
After Facebook, Twitter (average rating of 3.04) was deemed the next-most important for ROI, followed by LinkedIn (3.38), Yahoo (4.23), and AOL (5.6).

Respondents – a mix of marketers of clients (26%), ad agency employees (30%), and media company employees and consultants (44%) – appear to be satisfied with the support provided by Facebook for their advertising efforts. Almost half believe that Facebook’s support for advertisers has improved to some degree over the past 6 months, compared to only 1 in 10 who believe it has to some extent deteriorated. Additionally, roughly three-quarters are very (10.5%) or somewhat (65.2%) satisfied with the data and analytic tracking they receive from Facebook.

Given improving ROI and support, it’s not surprising that advertisers will be increasing their efforts: over the next year, a majority expect to significantly (11.2%) or moderately (44.5%) increase their Facebook advertising budget.

Interestingly, although Facebook is deriving an increasing share of ad revenues from mobile , advertisers don’t see much separation between the ROI of mobile and desktop ads, with a plurality (38%) rating them about the same. Slightly more than one-third feel that mobile ROI is much (7.7%) or somewhat (27.4%) greater, while 26.9% feel the same way about desktop ROI.

There’s more consensus when it comes to Facebook Exchange, used by about 1 in 5 respondents. Of those, two-thirds said it has been somewhat effective for their campaigns, with another 1 in 5 calling it very effective.

About the Data: The survey was conducted in August among 1,200 Ad Age subscribers.

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Is the Automation of Social Media Inevitable?

Is the Automation of Social Media Inevitable?

September 06, 2012 by Pam Kostka

Originally considered marketing’s domain, social media is becoming an important customer engagement channel across all functions including sales and support.  Already struggling under the volume of social media conversations, this functional expansion of social media presents an even bigger challenge.

Most companies today deploy technologies to listen and monitor consumer sentiment through social media, but they lack the ability to respond in a quick, accurate, and personalized way.  In addition, social media is under pressure to deliver ROI and in order for businesses to continue to expand investments in social media, they have to justify the costs.

Meanwhile, the demands of the consumer continues to grow.  Accordingly to a recent Oracle survey:

  • 16 percent of Facebook users and 30 percent of Twitter users expect a response in less than 30 minutes.
  • 43 percent said that a direct response to their questions is most important at a social media site, but 31 percent expect direct access to a customer service representative (CSR).

With only 5 percent of today’s inquiries being answered at all, much less than within 30 minutes or via direct access to a CSR, the reality is that there is a huge divide between what consumers want, and what businesses are currently delivering.

Recognizing the need to address social media questions and complaints seriously; and actually managing the sheer volume of communication streaming through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are quite different.  Providing a personal, engaging response to a customer’s needs, while minimizing the intensive, manual effort inherent in social media are seemingly two conflicting goals.  According to MarketTools, nearly one quarter of existing businesses offer customer support via Facebook, but most are still working toward an effective strategy to answer customers quickly and use feedback to improve business processes.

So the million dollar social media question becomes:  How does a company deflect costs and save time, yet provide a personalized, automated channel that engages customers and resolves their issues.

According to Altimeter analyst Jeremiah Owyang, the answer will be the automation of social.  In a recent post, Jeremiah highlights four types of social media automation technologies:

  1. Content Publishing on Timer: At a basic level, we already see dozens of social media management system providers like Hootsuite, Expion, Awareness, Argyle, Shoutlet enable brands to publish content on timer, many of these providers will climb into the following use cases.
  2. Social Content Optimization: Now, we’re seeing a few companies emerge that can optimize content by starting with analysis of content and developing intelligence, vendors such as SocialFlow, CrowdBooster, Prosodic, and Adobe Social that match what’s being said and time content to publish at the right time to the right people.
  3. Proactive Response:  Soon, we’ll see vendors that will apply technology from Virtual Agent Software, like VirtuOz, who tell me they’ll launch automated tools beyond chat agents, and now deploy in Facebook and Twitter streams to support brand interactions.
  4. Human-like Relationships:  While on the distant horizon, artificial intelligence agents will simulate human behavior and be a guiding agent, conversationalist, and act like a real world concierge, host, and for some, even a friend. Assume Wolfram Alpha, IBM, and others working on AI will seek to pioneer this front.

While the automation of social is still an emerging market, a few early adopters are doing the “unthinkable.”  Certainly a controversial violation of the very essence of the social network, for businesses, the automation of social is an attractive alternative to hiring an army of contractors to answer tweets and Facebook posts. Throwing human-capital at the problem is both cost prohibitive and simply won’t scale.  On the flip side, we expect many consumers to be up in arms at the prospect of the automation of social, but aren’t they the one’s driving the demand for a faster, personal, yet always on world?

Realistically, the likelihood that hundreds or thousands of people have the same question is pretty high, right?  Then why not let automation provide a faster answer (in seconds or minutes) so that when a more difficult inquiry comes along, the consumer can get the focused, human attention necessary. Seems like a win-win for both the consumer and businesses. But before your company jumps on the social media automation bandwagon, one big caveat:  you have to do the automation right, not just for the cost savings, but also for the customer experience.  Done wrong, automation can do more harm than good as was the case with Progressive in which an automated tweet sparked a social media crisis.

The bottom line is that businesses are for profit, and they will always look for ways to meet their business objectives, while cutting costs. So if automation is the answer, then businesses will do it, but they will have to balance their operational goals with those of the customer or risk losing current and future revenue.

Only time will tell whether or not automation will become an integral part of the social media fabric.  Is the automation of social inevitable? Take a minute to tell us what you think!

How I’m Using Google+ (Hint: It’s About Relevance)

As i continue to kick the tires and try to juggle, distinguish and appropriate categorize Google+, I found Melissa Parrish’s blog post insightful. Pricepoints comments follow hers.

Forrester Blogs » Marketing & Strategy » Interactive Marketing Professionals » Melissa Parrish
How I’m Using Google+ (Hint: It’s About Relevance)

Posted by Melissa Parrish on August 8, 2011

If you were to glance at my Google+ profile, you’d probably think I’m practically inactive. But what you’re seeing is the public view of a very targeted set of actions, based on relevance.

I like to have different kinds of conversations with different people, so when I share content it’s with circles that designate not only relationship but topics too, and Google+ makes it really easy for me to be highly relevant in this way. Take, for example, politics. I like to talk about it, but I’m rarely interested in fighting, so when I share a politically focused news article, it’s not enough to be in my Friends circle. To see it, you have to be in my Friends-Politics circle, where I’ve included people who I know I’ll have an interesting conversation with that won’t result in insults and multiple exclamation points.

There is one thing missing if relevance is an aim of the platform. As of today, my relevance-based circles only apply to what I share with others. What would be especially helpful would be a way to limit the content I see from others in that circle to the topic I’ve assigned it. For example, I’m following Christian Oestlien, one of the Google+ product managers, specifically for updates about Google+. So while the YouTube music videos and Onion articles he posts are probably funny, I can’t say I’m particularly interested in seeing them from him. Now, if one of the people in my Friends-Hilarious circle posted them, that’s another story . . ..

So what are the implications for brands?

Once business pages become available, brands may get the most from Google+ by prioritizing relevance over scale, regardless of how quickly the user base grows. If your audience uses the service like I do, it’s going to be in your best interest to get your brand in our Brands-Deals I’ll Use or our Brands-Great Links or our Brands-Things I Want For My Birthday circles. You’re not going want to end up in Brands-General.

Since business pages haven’t been revealed yet, I can only offer ideas on how brands might be able to accomplish this, but 2 possibilities come to mind:

1) Brands can launch their Google+ presences with a single, focused content theme first (deals, links, new products, etc.). This would mean that users who add you to their circles are interested in that specific content. Then your interaction with customers will be around that particular content theme so engagement expectations will be set on both sides.

2) Consumers could tell the brand what type of content they want, and the brand would create circles and share content accordingly. If business pages work mostly like consumer pages do today, then this would be a manual process involving something like comments from users, spreadsheets, and manual circle creation — probably not something a lot of brands will have the time and energy to do. But this could be a really compelling strategy if Google were to build an easy way for marketers to collect content-theme “opt-ins” and auto-populate circles based on that info. That would allow marketers to diversify the content they’re sharing to maximize the size of their Google+ audience, while still respecting relevance needs.

What business pages will do remains to be seen, and it’ll be some time before true user trends emerge that will show whether I’m alone on the relevance thing or not. In the meantime, what do you think? Is Google+ all about relevance for you? How are you using the platform?

First, I believe the significance initiative will command the appropriate “marketing” resources and commitment to establish it’s value. My experience and take on Google, like many, extremely bright and clever….but like some of my friend’s children’s get bored and move to quickly to another cool thing.

It can be boring to understand the user experience nuance that really makes the service or feature “can’t live without it popular”. Most recently Unless you’ve been asleep the battle over internet (overly dramatic I admit), due to the ability of Facebook to limit data access has finally gotten Google’s attention. It will impact their revenue source, search, and therefore will maintain their attention.