Social analytics will become the next tool to identify whether social buzz and campaigns can support search engine marketing, as more marketers integrate a variety of media. Determining the success of social campaigns, however, remains challenging. One method that Greenlight's COO Andreas Pouros believes will make it easier points to a pay-per-performance model.
Digital marketing agency Greenlight will offer a pay-per-performance service based on delivering actual results. It will measure, analyze, and test the monetary value of consumer actions such as Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, G+ replies, and others. Spearheaded by Pouros, a group of 30 company analysts and econometricians will support the model.
Some Greenlight clients have tested the model. In a six-month test, for example, the retailer Master of Malt grew the number of conversions by 10,000, driving up online revenue by 540% in one year.
The model can connect Facebook likes back to the company's key performance indicators, such as sales, conversions, customer acquisitions and keyword searches on engines.
One challenge to achieving this type of success that marketers face is the inability to quantify how social advertising influences search and conversions. Pouros suggests that marketers tie social media campaigns to pre-defined URLs that can map and track the progression from one form of media to the next. It identifies the path. For example, a social media campaign may provide a discount for consumers. That discount code is specific to a social media campaign the brand can track back to identify a direct cause and effect.
"There are a number of econometrics methods to isolate cause and effect away from expected query and traffic trends that are already used for things similarly ambiguous," Pouros said. "Buzz can be contextualized; its impact tracked on search queries and other KPIs through tracking codes in promoted content. A brand sending out a tweet with a link could add a tracking code to that link, so any resultant activity from it can be tracked back."
The key becomes driving up search engine queries and producing sustainable traffic to Web sites and social campaigns. Pouros said marketers who can identify an uptick in traffic using some of these methods can become "reasonably confident" that query increases were the result of the social buzz.