The Mysterious Social Media ROI And Finding It
Social Media tends to have a lot of complexity to it, at least to many people's perception of it. One big question that businesses tend to have is the whole "What's the return on investment?" and for good reason...
If something can't or isn't making a business money, what's the point of adding it to your daily processes or keeping it running? So business owners naturally have a good reason as to ask this off the bat.
In all reality however, the ROI is still somewhat of a mystery but there are some things you can do to get a better estimate.
One of the first things is to understand the fact that Social Media is not like any other sales funnel. If your expectation is to make money off the bat, you might as well quit now.
In Social Media, those that pitch and sell like no tomorrow, are those who are ignored, disliked, and definitely not trusted. Social Media in it's simplest form, is a platform to communicate with current and potential customers.
As a business, you must understand that and get that, not just in what it is, but how to best communicate within the platform and with REAL people.
Now, being that Social Media is not something where results happen overnight but can take more like a few months before any tangible results can be seen, you really need to make sure you have a strategy and plan in place that will help you reach whatever goals you have.
Not only that but your goals must be achievable over a period of time. Again, results don't happen overnight, they take time.
Although a lot of time investment and some financial investment is required, your true ROI will be found from the relationships and connections you foster and create over said period of time.
That's why the ROI of Social Media is so confusing. A lot of it is based on relationship building, something that doesn't necessarily have a monetary value attached to it. And other big reason why some companies think it's stupid and not worth their time. However, by utilizing analytics on your blog or site and monitoring where the traffic is coming from, you can get a way clearer picture of the ROI.
You don't have to get crazy fancy and spend big bucks when it comes to analytics...Google Analytics will work just fine, but I have heard great things from several friends about an analytics program I just switched to called Clicky (affiliate link).
Remember that to actually get traffic to your site, what you're selling, offering, etc., you must create a way (tweet, post, video, etc.) for people to visit. You can't just hop onto Twitter and Facebook, throw up your website link, and expect people to flock to it. That's not gonna happen. You get people there by creating relevant, valuable content, and selling.
Yes, selling. So many are afraid to sell because they think people will hate them for it and stop listening to anything you have to say. The reality is, is if you first build a relationship, provide value to them first, and THEN sell, people are many times more susceptible to actually buying from you. Don't be afraid, just don't let it be all that you do or you might see the consequences of doing so, which are pretty self explainable.
Social Media is extremely powerful and although some businesses can't see the benefit with the current ROI explanation, those who do get it are the ones who will reap the benefits, every single time.
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