Listen up all you social media guru’s and experts. A new year is upon us and 2010 is sure to bring about some changes in the social media landscape. The biggest change? Companies will start demanding that their social media investments drive revenues and not just simple web metrics. Page views, site traffic and increased followers aren’t going to be enough to justify a continued investment in social media – you need to link your efforts to sales and conversions.
A recent survey of global CMO’s conducted by Bazzarvoice highlighted that “81% of respondents expect to link their annual revenues to their social media investment in 2010, up from just 44% of CMOs in 2009.”
The study also went on to show that “53% of respondents are unsure about their return on Twitter; 50% are unsure about the direct value of LinkedIn; and 50% are not sure how to measure the impact of industry blogs on business metrics.”
Social media grows up
As mentioned by Brian Solis, MarketingSherpa recently released their Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report and in it they state, “2010 is the year where social media marketers gain the experience required to advance from novice to competent practitioner capable of achieving social marketing objectives and proving ROI.”
The industry is growing up. Social media marketing is simply becoming marketing. Companies are starting to expect more from the agencies that serve them.
Do you have the right expertise?
According to B. L. Ochman at the end of 2009 there were 16,000 self-proclaimed social media experts listed on twitter, up from 4,487 just seven months earlier. The growth is astounding but we all know this number is probably grossly overstated – having 20k followers doesn’t make you an expert in social media. At best, it makes you popular; at worst, it makes you proficient on one website.
The future experts of social media
As companies get more comfortable with the day-to-day aspects of social media and content production, the expertise they’ll require isn’t going to be social media management. Instead, they’ll need help understanding conversion attribution and translating social media efforts into sales dollars.
In the coming year, the real heroes of social media will be web analysts that link social media efforts with financial returns.
What do you think? Is your team ready to link social media efforts with sales dollars? Are you already proving the ROI of social media within your organization? Tell us about it in the comments.
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