The B2BNN guide to social media ROI

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One of the first questions brands and marketers ask themselves before jumping on the social media bandwagon involves Return on Investment. They want to know that their financial investments will pay off in terms of brand recognition, leads, and market penetration.

The ROI of social media exists. But it works differently from old-fashioned ROI because it is multi-layered and does not always translate into immediate revenue.

For ROI to impact your business, though, you need to create and stick to a solid, laser-focused strategy, spend time building relationships with your customers, exercise patience, and have reasonable expectations.

The problem is that B2B marketers seem to rely on gut instinct and a very limited set of KPIs instead.

According to Webmarketing123’s recent study, while most of them now use social media channels, one-third of marketers are unable to pinpoint channels that truly impact their bottom lines. Actually, only 27 percent of marketers can prove any form of ROI; and about 40 percent do not even have an attribution model in place.

Here are four companies whose use of social media has yielded incredible results.

  1. A frictionless user experience: KLM

Have you ever visited airline KLM’s Twitter profile? If not, take a look at the banner right now. You will find something unexpected: the average expected response time for customer care. And it is updated every 5 minutes!

KLM has rocked the social customer care area for years because it understands that there is no business without customers. The social media team gets the job done 24/7 on Twitter and Facebook, and fully embraces monitoring and negative feedback.

KLM has experimented with a lot of things in social media. For example, the company has created a secure payment option that allows customers to purchase their tickets via Facebook and Twitter.

This is how it work: “KLM sends a link to the customer in a private message on Facebook or Twitter. The customer can then select their preferred method of payment and complete the transaction. The social media service agent at KLM then receives a message to say that payment has been received and the customer in turn receives confirmation of the payment.”

klmphone

(Source: http://news.klm.com/klm-introduces-payment-via-facebook-and-twitter)

The result: The payment functionality generates €100,000 (more than $113,000) in revenue every week.

  1. Learning from experience: Design Within Reach

Based in the U.S., but with studios in Canada and Mexico, Design With Reach makes “authentic modern design accessible.”

In 2012, the company brought back its annual “Champagne Chair Contest,” where participants used materials from champagne bottles to design miniature chairs. This time, people were only allowed to create their masterpieces from foil, labels, cages, and corks.

Once done, they had to upload photos on Instagram. The entries were then featured on the campaign’s landing page.

contest

(Source: http://champagnechair.dwr.com/)

The following year, the team added a hashtag for the campaign (#dwrchampagnechair), as well as improved rules and suggestions. It also posted submissions to the blog, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest to encourage interactions and shares. Finally, it leveraged its mailing list.

When the company received all the physical chairs from the finalists, the judges (two real-world designers and a top design writer) visited its headquarters to look at the submissions and select the winners.

The results:

  • 415 individual submissions
  • 1 million impressions
  • A 32-percent increase in Instagram followers
  • A 238-percent increase in Instagram engagement
  1. Leveraging different digital formats: Demandbase

Three years ago, Demandbase, a targeting and personalization platform, and the Content Marketing Institute released a technical guide for B2B marketers. Titled “Using Technology to Drive Content Marketing Results,” it details the different types of technology that marketers can use in their content marketing strategies.

The company introduced the guide in several phases: a white paper, infographic, SlideShare, and webinar.

The results: 1,700 leads and 125 webinar participants. The SlideShare presentation has been viewed almost 13,000 views. The company has also generated $1 million in new business.

  1. Targeted advertising for better reach: National Bank of Canada

National Bank has a heavy social media presence. But the financial institution does not just want to promote its products and services. It also wants to spread the word about its community-based activities, especially on LinkedIn.

According to a case study by LinkedIn, National Bank tested Sponsored Posts for eight weeks in 2013 to understand how they could increase awareness of their work in that area.

A first experiment was the post announcing its $500,000 donation to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The campaign triggered 26,000 impressions (more than half of which came from sponsoring), 57 clicks, and 50 interactions. The company also acquired five new followers.

A second experiment consisted of a membership discount at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Young Philanthropists’ Circle for customers and employees of National Bank. The post yielded 63,240 impressions, 237 clicks, and 26 interactions.

Over the period the case study was run, the bank enjoyed a threefold increase in engagement and clickthrough rates, and gained 1,700 new followers.

Main photo via Payanywhere

Which other B2B companies stand out on social media? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below

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Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine Marrouat is a content creator & curator, social media trainer, author, and photographer. She is also the founder of Social Media Slant, a blog helping small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs to figure out the basics of social media. "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win", her latest social media ebook, was awarded a 2015 Small Business Book Award in the Social Media Category. Website: http://cendrinemarrouat.com
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