In my last post, “Does Social Marketing Always Need to be Social?” I discussed how difficult it is to determine tangible marketing ROI from a social action. Despite all the naysayers, it is possible and recent developments from social networking sites such as Twitter are revolutionizing how we measure investments in the social sphere.

Twitter Leads the Way

Twitter recently unveiled a new type of Twitter Card that allows onsite lead generation. The Lead Generation Twitter Card is simple. A user receives a tweet from a marketer, they open the tweet and at the bottom is an offer to join a mailing list with a button beneath it. If the user clicks the button, then Twitter automatically sends the marketer all the information they need (name, email address, etc.) to add that user to their email list.

In other words, Twitter’s Lead Generation Card transforms a tweet into a sales page and turns Twitter into a sales platform.

Measuring the ROI of this sort of social marketing campaign is as simple and easy as forecasting the ROI of any other pay per click (PPC) campaign. In fact, this sort of ROI is even easier to measure because it removes as many steps in the sales funnel as possible and essentially places users right at the bottom of the funnel.

Closing the Gap

Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards appear even more powerful when combined with other initiatives the social networking giant has unveiled recently, including Twitter Amplify.

Amplify is just as simple a service. A Twitter user watches a TV show and live tweets about it. While they watch the show, they see a broadcast advertisement. Right after they see this advertisement they receive a promoted marketing tweet from the same company in their Twitter feed.

Twitter Amplify is powerful enough on its own, but combined with Lead Generation Cards it can be downright revolutionary, closing the gap between a broadcast advertisement impression and a desired user action.

Targeting Time and Other Radical Marketing Potentials

While a lot of talk is given to the radical potential of using social actions as marketing actions, not enough is given to the fact social networks offer increasingly radical methods of beaming targeted advertisements in front of users.

We’ve all come to accept the fact that we can use social marketing to advertise to highly targeted demographics (which was a radical enough change in and of itself). We’re now coming to grips with the fact that we can use also use social marketing to target those moments when our preferred demographics are most likely to actually take a favorable action.

In other words, we’re seeing just as radical developments in the sphere of paid, direct advertising on social networking sites as we’re seeing in our ability to accurately measure and predict the ROI of social actions taken on those sites. Smart marketers will take advantage of both of these sets of developments in the social sphere and remember that social marketing means more than taking social actions.

It’s hard to measure the real impact of social actions because social networks and marketers utilize different metrics. Right now, there’s no 1:1 conversion between a retweet and a desired marketing outcome, and trying to measure one with the other is still a challenge.

Thankfully, we’re moving in the right direction. With tools such as Adobe Social and Adobe Marketing Cloud and the recent developments from the social networks themselves, more sophisticated marketing solutions can help you measure and predict the marketing impact of social actions.