Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 7: Social Media Tracking and Lead Detection

Courtesy of: http://www.saleoid.com

In your previous or current experience, were you or anyone at your employer responsible for tracking Social Media ROI? If so, how was this process conducted? If not, how was the success of your social media platforms measured?

Here is an infographic on how to measure Social Media ROI: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/81768549462452591/. Because I work in the pharmaceutical industry, we do not tend to use social media as much for our campaigns, as I work mostly with healthcare professionals. I have colleagues that work with the patient campaigns and they are much more involved in social media tactics and tracking. However, we typically track the website analytics for the sites that we create. Within the last year, we have hired an analytics specialist, who helps us better manually monitor our sites, typically using Google analytics. We usually meet with him at the beginning of a project, so that tags can be set up and the report schedule can be determined.

It can certainly be confusing to use Google analytics at first. The definitions can be hard to differentiate. I have had clients who ask us to collect the data for them, but then they have no idea what we are telling them or how to respond appropriately. This video gives a basic overview of some of the terms used by Google analytics.

It is interesting because I work for a larger ad agency in one of their specialty branches. I did not believe we had a strong social media presence, but our parent company does have a Twitter account and Facebook page, which I just discovered and will now follow. As Turner states, “the best way to determine how many customers you’re gaining through social media is to look at the website analytics” (2013, para 31). I am wondering if this social media presence has led to new business leads or new employees.

Have you ever had any experience with automated lead systems for your social media? If so, do you believe they were conducive to your way of business? If not, what current lead system is in place? Do you believe these systems would be beneficial for your place of business?

Digital marketing automation is defined as “software that allows you to automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, manage complexity and measure and optimize your efforts” (Bullas, n.d., para 24).

I do not have any experience with automated lead systems. Instead, we still tend to get new business the old-fashioned way—submitting RFPs and going to pitches, as well as organically growing business with existing customers. Our new business team does a lot of the lead generation and once they have an opportunity, we may get involved to develop the presentation because we have the experience in executing the programs. Once we land a new client, it is our job to build relationships and hopefully continue to get additional business with this particular client, as well as her colleagues.

I am not sure if an automated lead system would be beneficial for where I work to gain new business. At the same time, some of these systems could be helpful in getting our recruitment numbers up for different programs that we run for our clients. We have an operations team that is constantly making cold calls, sending emails and faxes, and mailing hard-copy invites. In addition, our consumer team does CRM management for many of our clients.

Here is an article that I pinned in our group board on Pinterest: http://www.razorsocial.com/social-media-management-software/.

As marketing automation tools can improve Customer Lifetime Value, what other ways do you believe we can improve the quality of our customers’ experiences through social media? Do you feel your company’s website alone is enough to allow them to have a great experience? Or are there other areas that need to be improved? If you were in charge of improving your employers’ practices to not only retain current customers, but also gain new ones, what would your strategy be?

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is defined as “the amount of revenue a typical customer will generate for a company during the customer’s engagement with your brand” (Turner, 2013, para 11). Here is a video that explains this concept in further detail. I would be curious to know what our typical CLV is where I work. When I started working at my current company, I had a client that had a drug that was first to market in its class. As a result, the pharmaceutical company had a lot of money to spend on promoting the drug. However, as the years went on, competitors entered the market and the drug did not do as well as it had previously. Our business opportunity dwindled as our clients’ budgets decreased year after year. We no longer work with them, but it has more to do with the life cycle of the drug, rather than our performance with them.

It takes more than a company website to retain and gain customers in today’s world. According to Kerpen, “it’s essential therefore that the website is as integrated with social media as possible” (2011, p. 170). While this might be true, it also depends on the industry that you are in, as certain ones may not rely as heavily on social media as others. I do not believe my company uses our website and social media accounts to retain or gain current customers. Our website is relatively basic and gives an overview of our company and what we do. If we were to focus more on our social media and Web strategies, we could see what new leads could be generated.

Bullas, J. (n.d.). 10 top digital marketing automation tools that could transform your business. Jeffbullas.com. Retrieved from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2015/06/19/10-top-digital-marketing-automation-tools/.
Kerpen, D. (2011). Likeable social media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook (& other social networks). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Turner, J. (2013). An in-depth guide on how to calculate the ROI of a social media campaign. Our blog. Retrieved from: http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2013/11/17/in-depth-guide-calculating-social-media-roi/.


  1. Hi Allison,

    Great response! Your company certainly sounds like a very interesting place to work.

    You mentioned your branch has hired an analytics specialist who helps you monitor your website. Do you believe he has been beneficial to your specific needs? Or are there elements of his assistance that you believe are unnecessary?

    Do you find it productive having a full-time analytics specialist?

    Below is an article about the role of a modern day web analyst. Does the individual working within your firm perform these type roles and report them to you and the rest of staff? Or is his work mostly between him and upper-management? Is there anything in these essential duties you believe would help you and your team more?


    1. To be honest, I do not have a ton of interaction with our analytics person. In the limited capacity that I work with our analytics team, I feel that I could learn the basics and handle on my end. Certain functionality that we use on Google analytics has become standard with some of our clients and I have had to learn to read reports and data points in regard to this platform.

      However, I feel like analytics personnel are an excellent addition to our team, as big data and analytics are becoming an even more important part of running a business. Take a look at this article, which shows how big data is becoming even more integral to the pharmaceutical world: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/health_systems_and_services/how_big_data_can_revolutionize_pharmaceutical_r_and_d.

      In the article you posted, I feel as if I have taken on some of these responsibilities, such as looking at the data and creating relevant client reports (Choi, 2015, para 10). Our analytics team member is responsible for adding the initial tracking to our sites, which is very helpful and something that I do not know how to do (para 6). It would be even more beneficial if we could take the data and make changes to specific campaigns that are not working. Many times, we leave it up to our clients to take the information and manipulate it as necessary.

      Choi, G. (2015, Sept 1). The role of the modern day web analyst. ClickZ. Retrieved from http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2423980/the-role-of-the-modern-day-web-analyst

    2. Hi Allison,

      I found the Mckinsey article quite interesting. Big data can open up so many opportunities and uncover vast amounts of information previously held unavailable. It is crazy to read that by applying big data strategies to the healthcare field could generate up to $100 billion in value alone. It's truly mind-boggling. But by improving research capabilities, and providing more tools for physicians, consumers, and regulators; it makes sense that the increase in value could be so high.

      The article also relates how big data and social media can blend to optimize clinical trials. "Patients are identified to enroll in clinical trials based on more sources—for example, social media—than doctors’ visits. Furthermore, the criteria for including patients in a trial could take significantly more factors (for instance, genetic information) into account to target specific populations, thereby enabling trials that are smaller, shorter, less expensive, and more powerful." (cattel, 2013) It will be interesting to see where this goes!

    3. Big data is certainly becoming a significant factor for all industries, but of course I am interested in healthcare because of what I do at my job. I am not sure if you took any of the MBA classes, but some of the core courses have a focus on data analytics. While I am glad I am not the one actually compiling the data, I find it fascinating to hear the advances being made by integrating data into everyday activities.

      Where I work, there is a clinical trials team. They focus on creating the trials, as well as recruiting patients for them. Although I am not sure if or how they use social media to recruit potential patients, I know they travel a lot to try and get people on board. I will have to follow-up with them to see if social media is one of the ways they are reaching out.

  2. Allison,

    I agree that analytics can absolutely be confusing – but how great that you are able to attain valuable information for planning campaigns. We do similar efforts at my agency, on a smaller scale. As you stated – by evaluating the data prior to and following different initiatives, we are able to determine the potency and effectiveness of the various marketing or advertising efforts.

    It also seems our experience is similar in terms of generating leads – as we both have only participated in mostly traditional methods. I am not sure if business development through these automated systems would serve my own agency very well, due to the smaller size of not only our company – but also our service area. It seems you and I have similar thoughts on this. But I wonder if eventually the systems will become the new norm – just as some companies may not have realized or understood the value of social media prior to the cultural explosion of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

    I love how you make the point that social media is a valuable tool – but not one that is necessarily applicable in all markets. In my blog, I discuss how depending on the client – the social media tactics are different. Some focus more on the PR side, while others on advertising and marketing. I have also experience your point: I have a manufacturing client and an accounting client and find that neither of these pages flourishes regardless of content or efforts. Essentially we had to change our way of thinking and seek other outlets that were more appropriate to the target market. In the end, we found that LinkedIn was a more appropriate platform as it spoke to a professional sales market – rather than the more social basis of sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

  3. Thanks for your response, Caitlin! It always amazes me how low the open and click rates are for most email campaigns. Take a look at this data from MailChimp: http://mailchimp.com/resources/research/email-marketing-benchmarks/. It shows by industry how the open rate does not go higher than 30% and the click rate is all below 5%. To me, this is such a low number, but when you are reaching the industry averages, the campaign is considered a success.

    I agree that automated lead systems may become commonplace tools with our companies in the future as they gain traction in the market in general. As you mention, organizations did not fully take advantage of social media platforms until relatively recently, especially since some of them, such as Facebook, were only open to college students or other select groups previously.

  4. Hi Allison,

    Interesting links and videos as always, thanks so much for that. I also found that Google Analytics can be a bit confusing/overwhelming at first, so that video is very informative. I agree that the benefits of social media for business and gaining/retaining consumers is very depends very much on the circumstances of each business. I have also worked for companies that did not rely on social media to gain/retain customers but as you said just gave an overview of the company and its goals. But I cant help but to think that every company could benefit from the use of social media in one way or another.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you Debra! I agree with your final point that there is a space for social media in almost every company and industry. At times, it just takes some creative thinking to figure out where the best spot is and it may not be in the new business arena. It is important for companies to periodically revisit their social media strategies, as new applications can lead to better placements of social media for a company.

    2. Indeed, companies should revisit and revise periodically as technology is constantly changing and it is easy to get let behind or become irrelevant. It is also wise for companies to maintain consistency for its brand and only participate in the appropriate amount of social media platforms as it is easy to become overwhelmed and have to many platforms to manage.

  5. Alison,

    I really liked the article you posted from Razor Social on third party forums that track successful social media campaigns. I think the article and what you have written indicate how businesses utilize social media in often very advanced ways. Nearly every local establishment has some form of social media presence but few really know how to use it to its full potential.

    Having additional services to track the success of various social media shows that many see the importance in these platforms and people are looking to greatly improve on their campaigns.

    1. Thanks for your response, Daniel! I agree that some companies are still trying to figure out how to use social media to their advantage. I think some of that is a result of not having the right information. People know that there are ways to use social media for business, but they might not keep up with the changing technologies or understand there are easy ways to implement social media into current strategy. In addition, there may be a lack of time that companies are willing to invest in terms of researching and strategizing to ensure that the right social media networks are utilized. Finally, organizations may feel as if they do not have additional money to support their social media campaigns, whether it is to hire personnel or to purchase social media tracking services.