The Glossary of Social Marketing ROI

Although still largely considered the baby of the marketing family, with Facebook just recently ringing in its 10th birthday, social marketing has already grown up and undergone some major changes over the years. Modern marketers’ push toward more measurable, data-driven initiatives has shifted social focus from cultivating shares and engagement to driving valuable behaviors that translate into KPIs.

This new social marketing landscape requires a fresh outlook and fully developed strategy, so we’ve put together an A-Z guide of the key social marketing terms you need to know to achieve real social ROI.


Only 12% of marketers have a clear picture of social ROI (Webmarketing123). The other 88% need to start taking a holistic look at consumer activity to gauge and attribute the impact of social interaction on KPIs like time spent, revenue, and repeat visits.


Too many brands still view social as its own isolated channel, but to reap the benefits of this medium, your brand must fully own its social presence. This means making sure that all of your social efforts, both on and off network, are fully branded and offer a cohesive user experience.


With the growing number of social networks and shared data points, staying in compliance with social data privacy terms is getting increasingly difficult. Save yourself a headache and put a database in place that automatically handles social compliance updates for you.

Dynamic schema

Businesses cite the inability to automate structured (name, email) and unstructured (interests, relationships) data quickly and effectively among their biggest challenges (Kapow Software). Be sure to choose a single solution that can collect and consolidate both types of social data.


Engagement remains the core of social marketing, but social engagement today provides only as much value as the insights and opportunities it generates. Shift focus from simply putting vehicles for engagement in place to harnessing this consumer interaction in ways that drive performance.

First-party data

Brands looking to gain a more current and accurate view of consumers are replacing unreliable, disparate 3rd party data sources with their own first-party data. Social infrastructure offers the opportunity to directly access the wealth of first-party data housed in users’ social profiles.


70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies will have deployed at least one gamified app by year-end 2014 (Gartner). Gamification turns your business goals into fun, social game-like experiences to boost valuable on-site user actions by an average of 29% (Gigya).


Once a Twitter-ism, hashtags have evolved across the web as a fun and effective way to group and promote content. Use these little guys to build common threads throughout social marketing campaigns, increase brand/product discovery and generate virality across social networks.


Caught up in the big data deluge, many marketers continue to focus on event and page-level data in an effort to garner consumer insights. Instead, marketers must implement an identity-centric strategy that enables a deeper and more purpose-driven understanding of consumers on individual levels, as well as provides a holistic view of users across mediums.

Join the conversation

42% of consumers expect brands to respond to social media feedback within an hour (Convince&Convert). Monitoring and joining conversations happening via social networks, user comments and customer reviews is imperative to building consumer trust and relationships.


Search and social are becoming intertwined as popular engines like Google and Bing are putting increased weight on social content, profiles and relationships. Insert desired keywords throughout your social profiles and conversations to boost your rankings.


Repeat shoppers represent just 8% of all site visitors, but account for over 40% of total online sales (PracticalEcommerce). Social marketing presents an unmatched opportunity to identify brand advocates and nurture customer loyalty by providing one-to-one, authentic interactions.


Marketers meticulously test variations of their websites, landing pages and emails, and need to start measuring their social efforts in the same scrupulous manner. Try a traditional A/B method and test which networks drive the most traffic, what content garners the most shares, and more.


The value of social data lies in its ability to help segment and reach consumers based on their real-time information. The NEXUS Partner Ecosystem powers integrations with over 50 marketing and automation tools, so you can easily leverage social insights across campaigns.


Over 20% of adult consumers visit websites from 4 different devices each week (Experian). Modern brands need not only create cohesive cross-channel user experiences, but should also implement a database that allows them to aggregate data across channels and devices.


As consumers share more information about themselves across social channels, they demand more personalized user experiences in return. In fact, 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make shopping experiences more relevant (Digital Trends).


Social marketing has not escaped the age old tug-of-war between quality and quantity. It’s time to trade in your thousands of Twitter followers and hundreds of nonsensical user comments for genuine relationships with valuable customers only.


If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to ditch your traditional sales and marketing pitch. Social marketing has built a direct bridge between brands and consumers that offers the opportunity to establish authentic, long-term relationships that breed lifetime customer value.

Social Login

Allowing users to authenticate their identities on your site or app using their existing social media accounts not only reduces barrier to entry, but also gives brands permission-based access to the rich insights housed in users’ social profiles. Social login increases registration conversions by an average of 33%, and improves data accuracy by 26% (Gigya).


As more personal information is shared across the Internet, data privacy concern grows, with 71% of consumers worried about companies sharing their information without permission. Let users know exactly what data you would like to collect from them and how it will be used, and give them the option to say no.

User-generated content

Modern consumers have the power to talk back to brands in real-time via social updates, comments and reviews. When harnessed correctly, this user-generated content can uncover new, unintuitive keywords and improve long-tail SEO.


The sheer volume of social data created each day is enough to make any marketer’s head spin. Developments in visualization technology have helped turn this data into actionable insights that empower data-driven decision making across the organization.

Word of mouth

Customer reviews are now trusted 12x more than manufacturer descriptions (Brick Marketing) as consumers are confronted with thousands of marketing messages each day. Drive socially referred traffic by enabling social sharing of content, products, reviews and more.

X marks the spot

The combination of mobile and social technology (you know you love to check-in!) has opened the door for highly relevant, location-based marketing campaigns. Start leveraging this powerful mix to meet customers where they are and drive conversions on the spot.

Gen Y

Gen Y, consumers born between 1980-2000 and better known as Millennials, seems to have been born with the ability to tweet, talk and text at the same time. As this generation takes over the consumer landscape, marketers need to focus on nailing the right media mix to reach, engage and convert these hyper-connected consumers.

Zero in on ROI

To truly succeed in the new social marketing landscape, marketers must make ROI a priority. Sure, constant measuring and optimization won’t be easy, but with the right tools it’s possible, and without a doubt, it will be worth it.

To learn more about how to achieve and measure social ROI, download our free marketing guide.

By Rachel Serpa