I was asked some questions by Alex Aspinall from B2B Marketing Mag… here’s my answers followed by the Inforgraphic they produced.

What should marketers be using social media for? (branding, traffic etc?) Do they understand it yet?

There are a number of ways B2B marketers can use social and it’s very much dependent on what they are trying to achieve, from recent studies it would appear most are using it for awareness. While this should be goal number 1, increasing your following so you have someone to talk to, Marketers should ensure that all their campaigns and content have a social aspect. I strongly believe with the right content using social media in paid, owned and earned channels can really help demand generation campaigns. The other aspect which is under utilised is to it’s fullest is social listening, in the B2C space you hear of success stories such as the Super Bowl Oreo tweet, who are taking advantage of real-time events to deliver relevant communications 1-to-1, as B2B marketers we should be doing this more to create opportunities for the business and engage with people when it’s most relevant to them.

Are you surprised by how many still struggle to quantify ROI? Why? And should marketers still be having this problem?

I was recently chaired a debate around Return on Investment and Return on Relationship TM. It was a hot topic, the room was packed, which shows there is still a keen interest in understanding ROI of social. I’m not surprised people struggle with the concepts of ROI and ROR, but it’s not the concepts people should be focused on, it’s the objectives and the KPIs against marketing activity. Much of what we do is understand the clients objectives and then work out the best method to achieve these. Look at what we hope to achieve and deliver some targets against these. Marketers are over complicating ROI, defining KPIs against objectives will make it clearer.

What metrics should marketers be looking at to demonstrate their social ROI?

In the B2B space we should focus on how we can drive interest for the brand and use content to teach, entertain and ultimately drive a volume of leads through social activity. From the leads marketers should then be looking at Cost per lead, cost per customer and the revenue per new customer and then equate that back to your activity. If it’s awareness your looking for, look at reach, impressions and conversations generated. But there are also some cost saving advantages from social, I recently heard of one company that has a 250,000 strong B2B community, the cost to market their events is now £250, looking at how social can reduce cost on infrastructure should also be considered.