How Great Automation Software Helps Make the Case for Social Media ROI

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The 3 great case studies below show how marketers use specific marketing automation software features to connect social media to revenue growth.


I’m going to break a rule and talk about software features. Like most marketers, I’ve been warned that too many “features and benefits” could bore my audience. However, a recent experience reminded me that well-conceived software features made it easier to prove the contribution of social media to lead nurture.

Here’s my anecdote: I recently overheard some Marketing colleagues celebrate the excellent number of webinar registrations they’d obtained by co-promoting the webinar with their guest speaker, a thought leader with significant social media clout. Beyond the obvious win-win (visibility and leads for all), what struck me was the fact special software features made it possible for them to verify the connection between social media clout and leads.

As a result, I looked for more examples of marketing automation software features that help marketers connect social media to other marcom activities, or prove that social channels support demand generation. I found three great case studies:

Track the contribution of specific social channels to the funnel

Feature: query strings and customized landing pages

1) Proof that social media impacts the deals closed by Sales
2) Ability to tie specific social channels to particular stages of lead nurture

ROI: Labor targeted to social channels with the greatest return

Sage, a provider of business management software and services, wanted to create more awareness for their products. They designed a social media demand generation strategy and supported it with Eloqua’s marketing automation software. They track prospects entering their CRM from various social media sources. The nurtured leads are then transferred to Sales when ready.

To do this, Sage uses Eloqua landing pages that are tied to specific social channels, or they use query strings. This provides Sage with very precise insights into how social channels contribute to generating or nurturing leads. For example, they know that SlideShare leads are more mature and may be transferred to Sales sooner than those from other sources.

In April 2012, Sage had 24 employees dedicating a significant percentage of their time to social media. This investment is tied, in part, to their ability to prove that social channels feed the lead nurture funnel.

Sharing strategic content becomes simpler

Feature: A central portal that streamlines a team’s social media posting activities

1) Simper processes for teams sharing content across multiple channels
2) Greater focus on creative content, less on juggling tools

ROI: Labor invested in content with long-term value

Heritage Environmental Services offers a wide variety of programs for waste treatment, industrial cleaning, healthcare and testing. Their marketing team struggled with fragmented tools for tracking, reporting and executing campaigns. They implemented Hubspot’s platform, which allowed them to centralize their digital marketing efforts and use one portal for all social media posts.

The marketing team’s new, streamlined process for social media publishing allows them to devote more time to blog content that supports their commitment to thought leadership in their industry. At the time this case study was written, Heritage’s social media reach had grown by 135% in 6 months.

Email marketing boosts social campaign ROI

Feature: Integration between email and social media sharing, called “Share to Social.” (This feature allows email recipients to easily share an email they received with their social networks.)

1) Viral growth of community-focused campaigns, such as quizzes or contests, using email.
2) Integration between email and social media campaigns

ROI: Increase in the number of engaged prospects and customers

Clothing retailer TM Lewin already had an entertaining, community-focused marketing program using their website and social media. They added email marketing through Silverpop’s Engage system, to better segment their international database and continue to growth their social presence.

In this case, they promoted a contest via emails, using the “Share to Social” feature to increase participation in the competition. The results were impressive – the promotion was shared by over 4,500 email subscribers.

So there you have it — three case studies that show great marketing automation software features that support the role of social media in demand generation. Do you have any great example of features you’ve come to count on?

Deborah Anne Gibbs
This monthly Marketing Automation and Social Media column is contributed by Deborah Gibbs. Passionate about product marketing, lead generation and marketing automation, Deborah has over 10 years, experience in communications and program management. Her marketing experience includes a wide range of industries, including high tech, automotive and medical devices. She is Pragmatic Marketing certified and, for fun, enjoys jazz, Portuguese and anything Brazilian. +Deborah Anne Gibbs
Deborah Anne Gibbs


Marketer passionate about demand gen, marketing automation & content. Keen on marcom, tech, jazz. Dir Marketing Automation @techaspect. Tweets mine.
Good ideas if you are starting to focus on email marketing for the 1st time. - 2 days ago
Deborah Anne Gibbs
Social Tools Summit


  1. says

    Hi Deborah! Great tools and will try them in future and especially I like the one that share to share on social media channels. 

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