Social platforms are doing more than driving buzz. Social outlets like blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are driving purchases; travel; and romantic, political, and other real-world decisions. As social networks grow, so does the power of word-of-mouse chatter to shape consumer conversations. Social media works like a virtual cocktail party where all attendees can discuss your products, services, experiences, and new ideas.
The million-dollar question is how to measure social media success. For some, the number of clicks from these outlets to a main website will matter. For companies like Dell that could directly account for dollars spent thanks to driving traffic from Twitter messages alone, it is revenue. Whether the metrics are traffic, leads, sign-ups, or sales, organizations need to be aware of the new form of ROI that social media supports so strongly—relationship ROI.
The last measurable impact is visibility. Social media like LinkedIn profiles, YouTube videos, Wikipedia entries, blogs, and Facebook pages dominate search engine results. Do a Google search for “Darth Vader”. You will likely see images, videos, and/or Wikipedia at the top of the search results. Organizations can achieve “TWD” (total web domination) for visibility when social media is put to work.