Social Media’s ROI Discussed At SMX

    June 3, 2009

From the playground to the boardroom, "prove it" is the annoying phrase with which a lot of innovative ideas are met.  However, if you’ve been tasked with proving the value of social media (to either a boss or to yourself), the contents of an SMX Advanced session should help.

Coverage of SMX Advanced continues at WebProNews Videos.  Stay with WebProNews for more updates and videos from the event this week.

Ben Straley

Ben Straley, the CEO of Meteor Solutions, was the first speaker, and he noted, "It’s not just about getting people to your site, you also want them to take action."  So on that subject, he then said that earned referrals are a significant source of traffic (15 to 20 percent on average), and that they also drive quality traffic (look for conversions to approach between 1.5 and 4 times the normal rate).

Next, Edmund Wong, Senior Vice President of Strategy at iCrossing, gave his presentation.  He talked about how to be active in customer support forums.  Visibly provide assistance, Wong suggested, while improving customer service and testing new product ideas.  This will show you care, and practically speaking, drive traffic to your sites.  It should also foster an online community that increases customer retention.

Tarla Cummings, Location3 Media‘s Social Media Manager, took over afterward.  She recommended the "MOM" approach of monitoring, outreach, and measurement.  As part of the first component, identify negative noisemakers and observe their impact.  Moving on, reach out and try to turn a bad experience into a good one.  Then check your analytics, and Cummings said, "True value is seen over time."  She also stated, "Brand reputation value is priceless."

Finally, Tony Adam, SEO Manager at Yahoo, wrapped up the session.  He said, "The power is in the real time and instant feedback from users in social media," and suggested also using social media to protect your reputation or brand in search results.

WebProNews Video anchor Abby Johnson contributed to this report.