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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 01, 2011

How to gauge social conversations for increased ROI

According to the latest data from BrightEdge more than half of the 10,000 largest websites are utilizing social plugins to share and dispense information, nearly a 10% increase from July numbers. Those social conversation pieces allow consumers to tweet, update and otherwise share information easily, but it is the brand's job to determine what those shares and likes mean for their marketing plans.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Everyone is talking about the potential of social conversations. But, for real conversation brands need to understand what social consumers are asking for. What social cues are most important?

Jim Yu, CEO, BrightEdge: BrightEdge has seen significant benefits to measuring and optimizing social signals. Proper use of plugins can drive significant URL referrals and traffic. From a recent study, we learned that web sites with Twitter share buttons drove link mentions seven times more than web sites without the Twitter share button. This is a clear indication that web sites choosing not to use social plugins are missing out on easy ways to gain market exposure and learn what social consumers are asking for.

Kristina: How can brands 'read between the lines' in the social space?

Jim: Brands need to be able to measure and interpret the social signals that customers are sending. They need visibility into how their followers, likes and tweets are tied to their content, their keywords and their market. With the input of social signals on web sites, brands are able to learn what consumers are leaning towards and gain insight into consumer intent. The addition of social signals enables the consumer to tell friends - and ultimately the brand - what they like, dislike, where they are shopping, eating, etc.

Kristina: As brands become more 'global', what does the social space offer?

Jim: As social players become more global, brands want to extend their reach on a single platform. The benefit of its reach to hundreds of millions of customers in other markets is extremely enticing to brands. But just as search is fragmented across continents, so is social. Having seen this in search, companies are often savvy enough to move when they have the staff and ability to measure returns.

Kristina: What trends are you seeing in social?

Jim: Brands are clearly interested in measuring the impact of social signals, optimizing their web sites to work with social plugins, and ensuring that their pages rank higher on search. They want to be able to measure the ROI of their efforts in this channel and recognize that social is connected to both their web sites (through plugins and open graph) and search (where engines count tweets and likes for relevance). More than 1,100 leading brands are currently using BrightEdge to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving search and social landscape and the expectation is that the number will continue to grow. Marketers need to be able to measure and manage their digital marketing efforts in a consolidated way across sites, search and social.

Tags: BrightEdge, social conversations, social marketing, social media, social monitoring

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