Social Media ROI – The “Not-So” Bitter Reality

While, a lot of enterprises and companies are still debating on a streamlined ROI for a Social Media Marketing campaign, where a few of the marketing firms have come up with some real interesting and suave facts/ideas to calculate a supposedly, realistic “ROI”, which I think is utter bull, and the enterprises/companies are being ripped off.

No matter how hard you try, it’s not easy to come up with a streamlined plan which can further calculate the particular numbers for the ROI, of a Social Media Campaign.

However, at the same time we should not rule out the infinite possibilities, as an outcome of a successful Social Media campaign. I have been active on Social Media platforms, for quite a while now. In the past few days, I have observed a couple of enterprises who may be dubbed as “success stories” of how and what a successful Social Media/Brand Awareness Campaign can result in.

Audi-Q7_India

Source : google.com/images

One such example I want to highlight in my post today is Audi India‘s brand awareness campaign.

Audi is one of the largest luxury car manufacturer in the World and probably one of the last few to enter the ever-developing country called India. Audi has been actively selling its cars in the domestic arena since 2004, but they established a separate entity to manage the Indian sub-continent under “Audi India” in 2007 . As a result, Audi India has 20 official dealerships in 11 major states and 2 Union Territories of India.

Talking about some interesting numbers, Audi India was able to sell 3,000 luxury cars and vehicles in 2010 compared to 1,600 approx. vehicles in the previous years. Resulted in a massive 81 percent growth in overall sales.

It is no rocket science to see the growing demand of luxury cars in the upper-middle and higher class of society in India. Perhaps, the reason Audi India wants to capture the undivided attention and have a few tricks and strategies up their sleeves. One of these tricks was (I am guessing) to create a Social Media Brand Awareness/Presence campaign by organizing an online #twitter contest, where people would require to tweet a reason why they love Audi with a hashtag #LoveAudi and if their tweet is selected, would be eligible to win free iPhones, iPads, iPods, Audi Scale Models, Merchandise and an Audi Car for a weekend (Yes, you heard it right).

LoveAudi22nd

#LoveAudi Hashtag Infographic.
Courtesy : http://visual.ly

Now, last I checked Audi India on twitter had somewhere in the region of 4000-5000 odd followers. Today is the third day of these this contest, and the follower count is now clocking somewhere in the region of 7,800 followers. Plus, they just hit the 2,027,437 (at the time of writing this post) Likes on their official Facebook page with #LoveAudi trending continuously in the top five trending topics in India on twitter, for the past three days.  I mean, if that’s not the so-called ROI .. then what exactly is? And keep in mind, that we are only discussing the Social Media Brand Awareness/Presence campaign.

I also took some time, to go through a range of people participating in the ongoing #contest and their tweets, and it’s kind of revelation how diverse, in terms of geography and their thoughts about Audi as a brand, for Audi.. to say the least. Which could in turn, help Audi in working our to address a certain range of issues or work on their products to improve and strive for the top spot in terms of over all customer satisfaction.

Courtesy of Visual.ly, I was able to generate a rough Infographic of the hashtag “#LoveAudi” which portrays a somewhat vague picture on how well the hashtag has performed and the current influential individuals making a decisive factor in the over all dialog.  You are probably looking at the inforgraphic right now, towards the right of this blog post.

I am not too sure, if Audi India’s management had some other “motives” or base plan to achieve as a success, behind this campaign. But, considering how rapidly we Indians are adapting to the Social Media this is a pure success in my views and definition.

As I said previously, while it is hard  to calculate a regulated much an animated ROI for a Social Media Campaign. However, it’s not equally hard to justify the success or failure of a particular campaign. The above discussed example further suggests that how brands are leveraging on social media to promote over-all engagement, without even investing heavily for a marketing or advertising initiative.

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