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Social Media ROI Examples

Finding good statistics and examples of the Return on Investment (ROI) for Social Media Marketing campaigns on the web is tough. One man, Erik Qualman author of Socialnomics: How Social Media has changed the way we live and do business, seems particularly adept at finding social media statistics. In the popular Socialnomics: Social Media Revolution video he created provided a mountain of previously unavailable statistics that have now been posted and reposted all over the web. Qualman has taken this one step further by providing some Social Media ROI Examples that make the sale of Social Media campaigns much easier for those in the business. Since Social Media Marketing is such a new business, not much of this kind of information has previously been attainable, thanks in large part to Erik Qualman, some statistics and examples are beginning to pop up. Watch the video to see some Social Media ROI Examples. Listed below the video are 14 Social Media ROI Examples from Qualmans post Social Media Success Stories.

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media. Gary’s eccentric personality and offbeat oenophile knowledge have proven a natural path to success with his Wine TV Library.
  2. Vaynerchuk found first hand: $15,000 in direct mail = 200 new customers; $7,500 billboard = 300 new customers; $0 Twitter = 1,800 new customers.
  3. A Wetpaint/Altimeter Study found companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media significantly surpass their peers in both revenue and profit. The study also found the company sales with the highest levels of social media activity grew on average by +18 percent, while those companies with the least amount of social activity saw their sales decline -6 percent.
  4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube, blending everything from an iPhone to a sneaker.
  5. “You can’t just say it. You have to get the people to say it to each other,” says James Farley, CMO Ford. Ford seems to know what they are doing, especially with Scott Monty leading the social media charge. By giving away 100 Ford Fiestas to influential bloggers, 37 percent of Generation Y were aware of the Ford Fiesta before its launch in the United States. Is it any wonder why 25 percent of Ford’s marketing spend has been shifted to digital/social media initiatives? Ford is the only U.S. auto company that didn’t take a government loan.
  6. Intuit introduced “Live Community” into its TurboTax products two years ago. Due in part to the resulting word-of-mouth, it has seen unit sales increase +30 percent each year and has now integrated “Live Community” into its other products like QuickBooks, Quicken, etc. “Live Community” allows customers to ask other customers questions, which has proved both beneficial to the customer and to Intuit. In some instances, the customer can answer questions that Intuit isn’t allowed to answer because of regulatory restrictions.
  7. Naked Pizza, a New Orleans pizzeria that specializes in healthy pies, set a one day sales record using social media. In fact, 68 percent of its sales came from people “calling in from Twitter.” On top of that (no pun intended), 85 percent of their new customers were from Twitter. So, yes, social media does work for small businesses.
  8. Also, social media works for B2B, non-profit, and more. Consider these examples. “Tweets for a Cause” sent out a tweet from Atlanta to encourage support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a result of retweets from such notables as @mashable, @G_man, @zaibatsu, and others, the Atlanta Chapter site received 11,000 visitors in 24 hours as a result of this initiative by ResponseMine Interactive.
  9. Software company reports that 24 percent of its social media leads convert to sales opportunities.
  10. During Barack Obama’s rise to the White House, he garnered 5 million fans on social media and 5.4 million clicked on an “I voted for Obama” Facebook button. Most importantly this resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising. An astounding 92 percent of the donations were in increments of less than $100.
  11. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center witnessed a 9.5 percent increase in registrations by using social media.
  12. Web host provider Moonfruit more than recouped its $15,000 social media investment as its Web site traffic soared +300 percent while correspondingly sales increased +20 percent. They also saw a huge lift in their organic search engine rankings getting on the first page for the term “free website builder.”
  13. “Our head of Social Media is the customer.” — McDonald’s.
  14. Case-mate “Recession Case” drives record sales. Andrew Knight, VP of e-commerce, readily admits he was skeptical when a 22 year old on the marketing staff brought him the idea of selling a cardboard case for the iPhone (see image, above). Appropriately dubbed the recession case, this would retail for 99 cents.”My initial thought was that this was never going to work. I was thinking we might sell a couple hundred but most of them we would just have to give away. What I underestimated was the power of social media!” said Knight. What happened is that Knight had met blogger Larry Greenberg through Twitter and Greenberg posted an article about the Recession Case. The next day, almost every major tech news site picked up on the recession case: Gizmodo, Engadget, TechCrunch, CNET, Mashable, etc. “We broke our daily site traffic record by five-times and we set an all time revenue record in the same day! Our Facebook & Twitter traffic skyrocketed as the story spread virally and people shared it with friends and family. In four days we had sold over 7,000 recession cases! It was truly unbelievable how fast it took off,” said Knight.Case-mate also offered free personalized “Sharpie Script” on the recession case. This sparked a mini-phenomenon of its own, as people were buying cases for each other to simply send a personalized message (aka being social).Knight points out another added bonus of the social propagation, “Our search rankings have improved nicely. Our two most important terms are ‘iPhone case’ and ‘iPhone cases.’ We are currently #1 for both of them on Google!”

The 14 Social Media ROI Examples above really give Social Media Marketers a starting point when selling their services, something that was previously a guessing game as numbers from past clients are generally confidential and the service is relatively new. If the Social Media Revolution was not already here, then these findings are sure to bring it on in droves. Many businesses and marketers are finding their way to Social Media but ventured in to it mostly unaware of the potential outcome. Having cold hard statistics and examples to provide to potential clients will help push Social Media Marketing even further, while allowing investors and business owners to have a better idea of what they are getting in to.

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