Thomas Crampton on the ROI of Social

MANILA, AUGUST 30, 2013 – With people spending so much time on social media, one wonders about the return on investment. It hasn’t been figured out yet, but it’s definitely more than growing a fan base.

"Growing fans is of no real value unless you’re getting engagement from those fans," said Thomas Crampton, Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific director of social, in his presentation The ROI of Social at the 7th Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2013.


Crampton emphasized that it’s not just about the likes. "With social media, it’s important to understand what the business value is," he said.

Crampton said the way to engage is through valuable, legitimate content that the audience will find useful. "If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face," he said, quoting  Hugh MacLeode.

According to Crampton, "Nobody should invest in social media unless they can prove its value and effectiveness."

For sure, social media is not something that should be left to the summer intern. "We want to make sure the highest level people are being engaged in it," Crampton said.

One of the important elements of a good social media strategy, according to Crampton, is having a plan. "The plan is working off of a strong framework which allows you to understand where you’re starting from. You really want to benchmark at the beginning so you could know how you’re succeeding," he said.

Content must be created systematically. Citing the Oreo Daily Twist campaign, Crampton said the process involves collecting, analyzing, strategizing and responding."This model is about collecting the content online, seeing what is relevant, understanding and analyzing it, coming up with creative ideas that make it interesting, strategizing how to put it out there and then responding to comments and optimizing what works," he said.

To measure the effectiveness of social media, one must look at reach, preference and action. Reach includes broad measures such as increased visits to a website and a growing fan base. Preference can be seen in how many people are speaking positively about a brand as compared to before, or how much people are talking about a brand as opposed to its rivals.

Meanwhile, action can be measured through click-throughs, participation rates, and purchases. "At the end of the day, look to understand what the business impact is," Crampton said.

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