I’ve received lots of questions lately in terms of social media ROI (Return on Investment). With the ever changing Facebook algorithm and the emergence of more and more social networks it becomes increasingly different to determine what is the value of a fan, a social post and is social media REALLY worth it for my business. YES, you ABSOLUTELY need social media for your business it is here to stay.
First, let’s start with how NOT to determine social media ROI. If you are benchmarking your social media efforts (ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR OF LAUNCHING A SOCIAL SITE) in any of the following ways you might want to reconsider:
- Conversion Rates
- Click-Through Rates
You are probably wondering why I believe this to be true? Its very simple….these are sales activities not marketing. While a social media campaign may and WILL in fact increase sales and leads, ROI should not be determined by this. Social media is a marketing activity of your business not a sales activity. When considering any sort of marketing effort it is incredibly important to first make this distinction.
Curious, what social media can do for your business?
Social media can and will do the following for your business:
- Increase awareness
- Stay in touch with loyal clients, customers and guests
- Keep people coming back
- Let people know you exist and are still in business
How to measure ROI?
One of the first things I do when working with clients is ask them about their goals when it comes to marketing and social media. Everyone almost inevitably says something to the effect of “Increase sales.” While I agree, social media is a tool to increase sales BUT marketing has changed DRASTICALLY in the last 10 years and social media has leveled the playing field for most businesses because:
- You don’t’ need to spend 2k a month on a billboard to let people know you exist
- You don’t need a million dollar marketing budget either
In my opinion there are lots of ways to determine are your ROI you just need to figure out what way works for your business.
For business who are just starting a social media presence or are just beginning to build their social media eco system then I HIGHLY suggest measuring ROI by number of new fans, email addresses and monthly reach is the best way.
I truly believe that every time someone follows you on Instagram, gives you their email address or clicks the like button on your Facebook page then there is a value to that. That person has taken it upon themselves to say “Hey I like this brand enough and I want to know more about their business, their culture, and stay in touch with them.” There is a value to that.
If you are just starting out on social media every one of those first likes are critical to building momentum in your business and with your online marketing efforts.
Reflect for a moment, on how you determine buying a new pair of shoes, or a car, or how you hire an accountant or figure out which restaurant to go too. While the selling cycle in buying a pair of shoes is different than say a car there is still a process. Sometimes this process takes minutes or hours other times it takes days, weeks or even months. How do people decide to buy? I believe it comes down to three things:
How do you achieve those? I contend, one way to speed the process is through social media and online marketing efforts. The selling world has changed and while we still NEED people selling most people don’t want to be bothered with a solicitation call. We as human beings want to be connected to other people and in this digital age that connection has extended to brands, that many people see as living breathing organisms and they are. Every new like has a life cycle of its own. While someone may like your page today not buying something today doesn’t mean you’ve failed. In many instances, in my own business I’ve had someone come to me 6 months or even years later and need what I have to offer.
Every new fan, like, follow or connection has a value each one of those are a vote of interest for your business….a first step on the road to building trust, providing that prospect with a glimpse into what it would be like to experience your business.
My advice to anyone thinking about social media and looking to determine ROI or looking to grow.
- Start Today
- Set Goals
- Be Consistent
- Commit for minimum of a year (Social Media is not going away)
- Make it easy for people to buy from you.
Social media and online marketing has leveled the playing field for so many entrepreneurs and small business to compete with the fortune 500 businesses in the world but it isn’t magic. Just like building a business it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, effort, drive and a commitment to your mission. Got questions? Email me at Jamie@outliermarketinggroup.com