Treadmills, Travel Time, and the Value of Analytics: Justifying the cost of social media success

Posted by Clayton Smith on May 22, 2012

Social Media AnalyticsConfession time: I pay good money on a monthly gym membership just so I can go and run on a treadmill a few times a week. It drives my wife crazy. Why spend $40 a month, she argues, when I can save money by running outside for free? It’s a reasonable question. After all, I’m sure we could find some great uses for an extra $480 a year, and if all I’m doing at the gym is running, I’m not experiencing any additional workout benefits than I would by running on the sidewalk every day. So yes, it’s a good question. Luckily, I have a good answer.

I’m buying the analytics.

Running on my own, outside, is great, and it’s actually the way I prefer to run. Fresh air, occasional sunshine, near-death experiences involving inattentive drivers; it all makes running outdoors a lot more exciting than jogging in place, staring at a wall. But when I run outside, I’m running blindly, analytically speaking. I can’t pinpoint how far I’ve run, how many calories I’ve burned, how steep my incline is, how fast I’m going, or how high my heart rate is. I don’t have access to any of these metrics when I run on my own, and to me, these analytics are a vital part of my workout routine. Tracking them allows me to see how my workouts are improving and how successful my runs are from a personal health point of view. The numbers help me stay motivated, and they constantly give me new goals to reach. For me, $40 a month is a small price to pay for those stats.

It’s the same reason you might kick in the extra 75 cents to get tracking and delivery confirmation from the U.S. Postal Service, or why you might break down and pay $120 for that new Garmin GPS unit that tells you not only how to find your destination, but how far away it is, how long it’ll take you to get there based on your current speed, and what time you’ll arrive. Analytics make the inconsistent things in life more reliable.

That’s the impetus behind the higher-level statistics we provide in Gremln’s Small Business plan. All of our plans include analytics of one type or another, but for the Small Business plan, we bundled some of the most powerful, intuitive statistics tools designed specifically for businesses that utilize social media in their marketing efforts. The Small Business plan is where you’ll find Target Pages, which can measure your social media ROI by telling you exactly how many purchases were made on your website based on a tweet or a Facebook post. It includes Goal Tracking, so you can set a digital benchmark for your social efforts and track your progress toward reaching your goals. We offer Web Analytics, which measures how many people have visited your company’s website, how they got there, which pages they viewed, how long they stayed on each page, which country they live in, what time of day your site was most frequented, and more. The Website Spy shows these stats in real-time updates. You can also access Reports, a tool that allows you to quickly and easily present all of your statistical analyses in clean, downloadable digests. And because the Small Business plan includes an Advanced Statistics package, you can track your detailed social data for the last 180 days at any given time. Six months worth of ROI analytics and social achievement are yours to examine, study, and share.

Which brings me back to the point about the gym membership. In the same way that I need to justify to my wife why I spend $40 a month to run on a treadmill, many marketing managers need to justify to their directors why they want to spend $59 a month on a Gremln Small Business plan. It’s a reasonable question. After all, social networks on their own are free to use, and besides, other departments are submitting requests for funds for their own projects, and your company doesn't have infinite resources. Choices have to be made. So yes, it’s a good question. Luckily, you have a good answer. When you set up a Gremln Small Business account, you’re gaining access to the detailed statistics that will become the blueprint for all of your future marketing efforts. You’re investing in tools that will show you where your current social strategies are weak, allowing you to avoid costly missteps in the future. You’re buying the ability to concretely and economically rationalize your department’s dedication to social media marketing. You’re tracking the company’s social media ROI in a very real and accurate way. You’re opening the door to empirical motivation and social media improvement.

The answer is simple. You’re buying the analytics.


Topics: analytics, Business, business, campaign, dashboard, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, small business, social, social media, statistics, stats, strategy, twitter

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