Measuring Social CRM ROI

Determining the ROI of customer relationship management (CRM) using social media strategies has become easier with tools like Google Social Analytics, Adobe Social (part of the Adobe Online Digital Suite) and HootSuite. There was a bit of lag in the development of tool like these in relation to the growth of social media, but now I’m noticing more and more of them.

The big question is how do “likes” “shares” and other social interactions translate into monetary terms? Is it really worth it for a business to devote a large budget to social media? How can we use social media strategies most efficiently? These tools help business answer these questions.

Social CRM’s a Tough, Worthy Goal, is a great real-life snapshot of successful CRM through social medial translating to ROI. The article provides compelling examples, like this:

[Bank of the West] has since found that about 38 percent of the variation in its online account openings can be attributed to direct referrals from social media sites. The firm marks a similarly significant referral rate to its branch locator page from such sites.

I find it interesting that the banks mentioned in the article were using analytics systems developed in-house for at least some of their measurement.

I think that out of all the social CRM tracking tools, Adobe Social is probably the best. I have not used Adobe Online Digital Suite, so I can’t say for sure, but that’s my educated guess. I would love to try it out. I think this because you almost always get what you pay for. Also, I’ve used HootSuite and wasn’t overwhelmingly impresses with it, and Google’s Social Analytics don’t go as in-depth. Additionally, I just really love Adobe products because in my experience, they are superior.

I used HootSuite to manage social pages for clients, and I don’t like that everything you post using it says “Via HootSuite” after. Also, for most links you post using it, it generates a new link, so it changes the link referral path, which I also didn’t like. They do have a lot of cool analytics features though, especially for companies that can’t afford the Adobe Online Digital Suite.

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Online Surveys for Research

“The Value of Online Surveys,” a study by Joel R. Evans and Anil Mathur, evaluates the pros, cons and effectiveness of online surveys as a research method.  The study found that “if conducted properly, online surveys have significant advantages over other formats. However, it is imperative that the potential weaknesses of online surveys be mitigated and that online surveys only be used when appropriate.” It then provides detailed breakdowns of the specific strengths and weaknesses and best practices for conducting online surveys.

Online Survey Tools

I’ve used both Qualtrics and Survey Monkey. I think they’re both similarly easy to use. One observation is that 3 years ago when I used them, Qualtrics looked more professional and I thought their reporting was put together a little better. After looking at both of them again recently, it looks like both have developed significantly, and Survey Monkey especially seems to have made changes that make it more professional. That being said, Qualtrics and Opinion Lab seem to offer more comprehensive business solutions, based on how they present their offerings. For example, Qualtircs offers a “Research Suite,” “Site Intercept,” and “Qualtrics 360.” Although these could be functions easily availible in Survey Monkey, they don’t present them that way and depend on the potential customer to figure out how to apply all the features, which I don’t think is as effective.

One thing I found particularly interesting is that while Qualtrics and Survey Monkey’s websites are very similar in terms of structure and information presented, Opinion Lab’s differs in a few significant ways. It focuses on mobile immediately, which is a growing focus for business, since both web usage, development and ad spend is projected to continue shifting heavily toward mobile. Also, it includes CTAs (Call-to-Actions) that are ROI-focused like “Increase online conversion” and “drive foot traffic to your store.” So to me, it seems to address business goals more than the other two, at least in terms of marketing.

Another really interesting thing is that both Qualtrics and Survey Monkey allow companies to integrate their surveys with Salesforce, or other CRM applications. This means you can program the surveys to trigger off of certain actions completed on your site. I think this is a neat feature from a development and business perspective, but that some people may find it intrusive. I did not see this feature on OpinionLab’s website, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer it, too.

Qualtrics and Opinion Lab don’t give pricing details online, which leads me to believe they are more expensive than Survey Monkey. This may make Survey Monkey better for smaller businesses, although it’s quite possible that if the user designing the surveys is an expert research methodology, they are all equally as effective. It would be interesting to see comparisons between the products or expert reviews/analysis.

I used Qualtrics to test out designing and launching an online survey, and I thought it was very easy to use and the reporting was easy to understand.

Questions

1.) What tactics have made you decide to take online surveys before?

2.) What is your general opinion of taking surveys online, as a user? Do you prefer it over more traditional methods?

3.) Do you have any privacy concerns with online surveys? Qualtrics, Survey Monkey and Opinion Lab all guarantee security, but is that enough?

Website Analytics

Having worked in SEO and Online Marketing for almost two years now, I’m very familiar with how to track and use website analytics. Google Analytics is definitely the most prominent and well-developed tool for doing so. Social media sites for businesses also offer analytics to their specific platform, which are helpful and can be linked to Google Analytics to get an overall picture.

Although there are other tools and software for this, most of them require you to sync them with your site’s Google Analytics so they can pull the data. Otherwise, they won’t work. One example of this is SEOmoz. This software is designed to aid in SEO efforts. One big reason we used it is because it shows your site’s rank for certain keywords, which Google Analytics does not. It also helps you prospect new opportunities to optimize your site and provides access to an online community with lots of great learning resources and the ability to ask questions. However, if you don’t link your Google Analytics account, the tool has basically nothing to work off of.

Having worked in this industry for a while, I have seen development changes and improvements in Google Analytics, like the addition of social metrics, which require you to sync your social sites with your Google Analytics.

One big thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s imperative to set up Google Webmaster tools with your site. This enables Analytics to pull a lot more specific data, such as keyword-tracking data form your site. It also offers a different set of insights as Analytics.

Google analytics also gives you the option to set up conversion metrics on your site to evaluate if your visitors are doing what you want them to, basically. For example, you could set it up based on quote requests, contact form submissions, purchases, anything. This is particularly valuable for e-commerce sites, but may bot be applicable for all sites.

Other tools I found useful:

  • Visitor flow charts – Graphically represents the traffic flow on your site. Shows what pages visitors enter your site on, and the sequence they visit the other pages in your site. (Note: this is based on total traffic flow, not specific users.)
  • Keyword breakout – When you are looking at traffic based on keywords, you can type specific keywords into the search bar to get the info for them. This was helpful for reporting progress to clients.
  • Reporting – The reporting for this tool is pretty easy to use. You can export any configuration of data you’re viewing into either a PDF or excel sheet. You can also run very specific reports, and automate these reports to run regularly, if needed. This saves time and is very easy to do.

Questions:

1) How much access do you give clients to their Google Analytics?

2) If you give them full access, do any of them use it? (Most of mine never even looked at it on their own.)

3) Have you used Google Analytics in your career? Did you find it easy to use?