Social Media: Can the Impact be Measured? 44

Last night Racepoint Group hosted an event about social media and its return on investment (ROI). As social media continues to become a larger focal point in public relations and marketing campaigns, it’s critical to understand how to articulate it’s value to clients.

Last night’s event centered around a panel discussion with three social media experts: Larry Weber, Chairman of Racepoint Group, Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics and Mike Volpe, VP of Inbound Marketing for HubSpot.

After Larry Weber’s opening remarks, Qualman shared how he first dipped his toe into the digital space by sending a company-wide email instead of the standard hard copy memo. View his story here:

Volpe was up next and shared with the group the origins of his marketing career and the way tracking and reporting on ROI is evolving. Watch him provide tips here:

The evening was full of tremendous ideas and recommendations. The five big takeaways from the panel were:

1) Social media is not about technology. It’s about human interaction. It’s about sharing information and making connections. People who are intimidated by the technology aspect of engaging in social media should not view the applications as a hurdle. It’s simply the current mechanism to maintain relationships and reach out to new people.

2) When it comes to tracking social media, its important to focus not only on the quantitative (number of followers, number of re-postings) but also the qualitative. We need to take into account engagement and tone. Qualman said, “If social media is so trackable, we should just have robots running things. The human element is necessary here.”

3) Everyone and anyone can be a content creator, a publisher, a media property. As we shift away from traditional print and broadcast media, both we and our clients have the opportunity to get innovative and create and distribute our own content. Additionally, content creation should not be isolated to the PR and marketing staff. Volpe shared that, “50% of HubSpot employees have written posts for the HubSpot blog.”

4) Although much of PR and marketing is based in the written word, we need to start thinking more visually. We need to tell stories through pictures and videos. We need to make our content more authentic and dynamic.

5) On a personal level, Volpe stated, “The new resume is what comes up in Google when I type in your name.” As digital and social media continue to play an increasingly vital role in our PR and marketing efforts, we too have a digital and social persona, and that is now what employers are most interested in.

Thank you to Erik Qualman and Mike Volpe for joining us at Racepoint Group last night and providing such pragmatic, realistic, useful and inspiring guidance on the social media ROI frontier. Be sure to follow @equalman and @mvolpe on Twitter for real time updates on their social media adventures. You can also view all the live commentary during the event with the #smroi hashtag here.

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