Okay, Everyone! The ROI of Social Media can be hard to understand, especially for those who are new to the idea of using social media for business, as well as for those who may not have a proper strategy in place. The good news is, with a few tricks you’ll soon be able to understand your social media ROI.
Everyone seems to fall within one of the following categories:
- Some proclaim there is no ROI to social media.
- Others seem to think if there isn’t an immediate dollar figure in sight, there is no ROI.
- Finally, there are those who are on their way to a better understanding of social media ROI. They understand that social media is a relationship that you nurture over time - an exercise in building trust - and results pay off along the way, strengthen over time, and a return can be observed in many ways.
First, let’s cover what needs to happen before you begin seeing social media ROI and then let’s review the many ways you can measure social media ROI.
Social media is not just sharing and posting appealing graphics. Social media is also a form of customer service, and it holds an integral place in a marketing strategy. It is a way to build a community, as well as a way to create a raving fan base. It can also be one of the fastest ways to create brand awareness and a highly effective way to connect with like-minded individuals all over the world.
Think of social media as a form of networking. You build connections, nurture those relationships, and in time you generate leads from your networking. You will receive referrals from current and past connections and your hard work will pay dividends.
The same applies to social media; if you just post on social for the heck of it with no strategy in place, you probably won’t see a return. If you post content directed at the audience you are building and provide value to them, over time your efforts will pay off.
The actions that we take on social media can make or break our brand. Think about this for a moment. When we call a customer service department, we most likely deal with one individual; when we ask questions on social media, the world is watching. This is why it is crucial not to leave social media on the back burner.
The actions we take on social media, whether in the form of daily interactions, the way we respond to questions, the community ‘feel’ that our brands create, all reflect directly upon our business and will impact our social media ROI.
The more consistent you are in delivering content that speaks directly to your audience, the more loyal your following will be, and the more likely they will be to recommend your products and services to others. This is why it is important to identify the value your audience desires in order to deliver just that!
Let’s review an example: If I am a fashion designer and I post daily designs that’s great, but your return will be slower and take longer. If I am a fashion designer and I post a weekly styling tip, you will give your audience something to look forward to, and along with your tips, they may be more enticed to buy your designs.
In short, this is a form of inbound marketing; we provide value and we become a go-to business/person. Inbound marketing also applies to social media; it’s really important to focus less on the big numbers and focus more on the value that you offer.
Before you start seeing a return on your investment trust needs to be built with your audience, and you need to demonstrate consistency as well as provide value.
Now, how do we measure social media ROI?
A return on your investment doesn’t always equate to dollar signs. It’s time to start looking at the smaller milestones that often lead to greater success. Let’s review a few examples that apply to social media.
- More engagement with your posts IS a return on your investment. This means that there is interest from your audience, and they relate to your posts.
- More business inquiries due to some of your posts IS a return on your investment.
- More shared posts on your accounts IS a return on your investment. When individuals share your posts, your posts and thus your business get in front of a greater audience without you having to invest more money.
These are just some of the examples of results you can look forward to when you have the right social media strategy in place. All of the examples we reviewed are designed to entice and lead your ideal clients to you; it’s then up to you to close the deal!
If you focus more on the small milestones of social media, and continually offer value and share posts your audience can relate to, it’s a no-brainer that you will see a return on your investment.
Until next time!
Debbie Roy is a Toronto based Social Media Strategist and Trainer. She works with local and International clients ranging from entrepreneurs to small & medium sized businesses and organizations. She believes in giving back to her audience and has contributed to various publications such as the Huffington Post, AlphaGamma and Evan Carmichael. In her spare time, you'll find her traveling with her partner and spending time at the park with their dog. www.debbieroy.com