ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Alinean, the leading creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors, today shared key research findings on social media marketing return on investment (ROI). This research reveals that ROI success is often driven by level-of-engagement, and that engagement success was driven by a set of best practices termed the "Social Media Hierarchy of Needs™."
The findings revealed that social media level-of-engagement, the ability to attract and dialogue with followers, advocates, influencers and readers, drove the capture of new prospects, improved existing customer loyalty and provided a platform for collaborative innovation. These engagements eventually led to incremental revenue opportunities and cost savings, the key benefits in the realization of ROI.
"The research looked at engagement success and how it led to tangible benefits and ROI, revealing that marketers who implemented a layered, hierarchical set of engagement best practices, including Content, Campaigns, Monitoring and Collaboration, achieved superior ROI results," said Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean. "Much like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, each successive layer relies on a solid foundation for success, with those implementing successive approach achieving the most success."
The Social Media Hierarchy of Needs includes:
- Tier 1: Content – Achieving social media ROI required a foundation of content, particularly focused on delivering value, presenting new ideas, improving credibility, driving personal connections and providing entertainment.
- Tier 2: Campaigns – Users won't know that the content exists without campaigns, a promotional "push" of messages via the social media channels. Campaigns can include basic messaging like tweeting, updating status, posting discussions and links, and more advanced campaigns such as contests and sweepstakes.
- Tier 3: Monitoring – Above the campaigns, monitoring is required to actively listen to the user community. The monitoring can listen for campaign and content effectiveness, advocacy and customer intelligence, trends, competitive intelligence, incidents and issues, as well as responding to direct questions and incident response.
- Tier 4: Collaboration – Interacting with the user base is a key differentiating element to the most successful social media campaigns. This includes promoting and participating in collaborative discussions and engaging users in collaborative product reviews, shared designs and innovation, an initiative termed "collaborative innovation."
Along with the hierarchical tiers, the research indicated two key additional supporting best practices, highlighting the importance of:
- Measurement of social media metrics, benefits and success; and
- Integration of information, such as lead nurturing and CRM, and processes, such as centralizing and coordinating governance and resources.
"In order to drive the most effective engagement, marketers need to implement each successive tier of the Social Media Hierarchy of Needs to drive the highest ROI from social media efforts," adds Pisello.
The full Social Media ROI white paper and research findings can be found at: http://www.alinean.com/socialmediaroi
Alinean, the leading provider of dynamic sales and marketing tools, empowers B2B vendors to better sell to today's economic-focused buyer. Alinean-powered interactive white papers, assessments, ROI calculators and TCO comparison tools create more compelling value-based connections, workshops, presentations and proposals - delivering customized diagnostics, benchmarks, solution recommendations, benefits, investments, ROI, payback and TCO advantage proof points.
Leading B2B firms leveraging Alinean tools include: HP, IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Dell, Intel, IDC / IDG, AT&T, Siemens, Unisys, Thomson Reuters, NetApp, Citrix, Symantec, Novell, Cisco, Oracle, Sybase, and CA.
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