Making Social Media Connections, Budgets and ROI

Technology has historically pushed people away from each other, isolated them, and allowed them to work independently. These are among the interesting insights from traditional advertising executive Laura Lang, chief executive officer for the Razorfish/Digitas Group, during the afternoon OMMA Global keynote on Wednesday in San Francisco.

Today, technology gives us the ability to connect. So when you hear the words social and media, it's important to remember the pathway that creates an emotional connection from the brand to the consumer. Lang says marketers who think of social media as another channel for advertising are already out of the game. Think about this: 25% of the top links in a search query return user-generated content.

When Gap Executive Vice President Ivy Ross had to make some difficult tradeoffs, she looked closely at billboards and traditional media for ways to cut the budget.

Reaching out to consumers, Ross had to determine whether billboards that blanketed one city or a social media campaign spreading across the country would make more sense. She questioned where Gap should play and with whom, rather than whether the company should tap into billboards, print and television, or social media.

Marketers are starting to really examine and compare the influence and the cost of using social media, including writing, against traditional media like out-of-home, radio and television. Microsoft's Director of Emerging Media Marty Taylor Collins told OMMA Global attendees in San Francisco Wednesday about an extensive return on investment (ROI) benchmarking chart she looks at every month.

This tells Collins what is spent online versus digital television. It shows how many more impressions she can get and what it costs. "I'm running thousand percent ROI programs," she says, noting that it's not exactly apple to apple because of the cost for impressions. "The media is not the same thing."

A television ad provides awareness, which does not exist in social media. Microsoft started running TV ads last year because the company realized it needed to build awareness, Collins says. Microsoft does not take budgets from television or out-of-home to run social media campaigns. The pie gets broken up differently, but Collins must account for the money on engagement and brand building versus active preference.

"Social media blows away the cost for impressions -- blows it away," Collins says. When trying to determine whether to spend $100,000 on traditional media or $1 to buy impressions on Twitter and Facebook, it doesn't come close.

Budgeting has also become an art. At Gap, online advertising sits in another profit-and-loss statement, Ross says. It takes collaboration. "The Internet is teaching us that, she says. "It is teaching us collaboration at all levels, with the consumer and within departments in the company."

2 comments about "Making Social Media Connections, Budgets and ROI".
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  1. Arlene Santa Fe, March 18, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.

    I am gathering information/research on social networking and the foundry industry. I see very few steel/metal manufacturers interacting with social media sources.

    Can anyone recommend articles/research on this subject?

  2. Henry Root, March 18, 2010 at 10:57 a.m.

    Arlene Santa Fe

    Hmmm- social media and Foundry...

    Have you looked on the Weld Wide Web? Google Chrome? LinkTin?

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