The effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns could be qualitatively judged through various measuring and monitoring software or tools available online. They use metrics such as the number of users clicking into the business website, pages gone into, duration of stay on each page, conversion to buyers, return visits. etc. to indicate the extent of awareness created from the campaign. They also monitor the usage of onsite widgets and gadgets by the user during the visit for sharing linkages with other users of the social network.
These measurements and monitoring also helps bring in refinement of campaign strategy that may help drive sales. These measures are also called soft metrics as against hard metrics which are quantitative and to do with measuring of revenues and profits expected to flow from marketing on a social platform.
As expressed at the gathering of marketers at the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Survey of the World Federation of Advertisers marketers are prepared to invest more money and time in the social media. The brand marketers are willing to even hire permanent community managers to focus on areas that fit closely to brand objectives. But the problem is, even if there is an increase in the sales revenue, how would they know for sure it is driven by the social media and not by any other factors without a proper tool to measure and monitor the financial repercussions of going on a social platform?
Social media marketers are looking to optimize customer networks through harnessing social media users to drive sales revenue and customer transaction They are no more satisfied with increase of awareness alone and want to introduce elements of proactive traditional approaches to their social media marketing campaigns. The development of a comprehensive system that connects sales revenue to the roles of individual social media users in the pathway to the customer transaction is anticipated. It would facilitate vigorous marketing campaigns that would reward user actions that promotes sales proportionate to the value of sales driven.
Metrics such as the number of sharing of links to product and services pages, customers referred, products reviewed and rated, social coupons passed along etc up to the successful conversion of a user to a buyer and the revenue driven would become part of a comprehensive rewarding system. The development of such tools are predictably among the top priorities of both software developers and social media companies. Until then marketers have no choice but to trudge along in indecision if not to lose in the race. to be with the best of their lot.