Today, social networking marketing services and tactics among business owners is quickly becoming a critical strategy of influencing and driving key business objectives, goals and performance. Interactive marketers who know the secrets to engaging prospects and customers on social sites and analyzing return on investment or ROI can improve their business impacting metrics, such as how many people visited a website, conversions and sales.

Marketers are investing heavily in social marketing services and consulting; however, the elusive measuring of its results seems to be escaping. Surveys show that business owners who implement social marketing, actually think it is a “set it and forget it” marketing method, much like placing an advertisement in a newspaper. They do not think they need to do anything else. However, if nobody calls their business inquiring about the information in the newspaper advertisement, the business owner more than likely would pull the ad from future editions. The same methodology needs to be implemented with social networking marketing.

Far too many organizations rely on personal feelings and shorthand metrics to determine payback from their expanding social networking presence, visibility and exposure. Without an accurate measurement framework, they risk misinterpretation that can lead to misinformed decisions on marketing budget allocations and where social marketing fits within their marketing channels.

Any business owner who is contemplating adding new networking marketing methodology to their marketing mix needs to explore the opportunities and challenges social media presents and form practical solutions for assessing the ROI of their initiatives, including social networking sites, blogs and video marketing. Five major areas business owners must assess prior to fully integrating social inbound marketing are:

How to better understand, engage, and target network users
Better understanding the online marketing channels
The total impact of impression-based campaigns have on ROI
How to properly integrate social channels and campaigns for optimal reach
What social network analytics can offer and how they can be used to continually refine and improve initiatives
Integrating the full realm of inbound marketing services, to include ebooks, article writing, case studies, and premium content writing not a business marketing mix may seem like a daunting task, which requires technical knowledge and analytical proneness, not to mention time.

If you think this, you’re right. With the quick rise over the past few years of the value Internet inbound marketing brings to a business’s bottom line, there has been an equal rise and the number of so-called Internet marketing consultants.