This is the question that tends to surface about this time of year for the last five years. It is the time when companies are really evaluating their social media efforts to determine how much time and financial resources to invest into this medium.
It really all comes down to one return. ($ $ Dollars)
If your company is showing lackluster sales, areas are being looked at to determine which processes are working and which processes are not working with respect to marketing. It comes down to looking at where you are generating your most sales and trying to maximize those sales. I have learned over the years that you do not have to always release something new into the market, to see a new return. You can take existing products and services and market them in a way that resonates with your clients. This is where social media comes in.
Social media is an “instant” way to get attention in the market and keep it.
The best return on social media incorporates getting your brand in front of your users, keeping your customers through good, effective content marketing and always, always listening to your customers. All of these facets have to work together. You can’t strip them out and measure each one independently. Follower counts and like counts are not good indicators of your return on investment. They are interesting numbers to look at, but can you really make the assertion that a company with 2,000 likes is better than a company with 500 likes.
The other thing you have to remember is we are still in the early stages of this marketing era. People are migrating to mobile technologies like smart phones and tablets. Traditional mediums like television are trying to infuse social media into their broadcasts and news items.
Everyone is positioning to make sure their content is being read and followed online. This is where the return will occur and we are just starting to see returns in this area. Some companies have seen a big return already, but for the most part those items are based on some marketing content that went viral. The trick is to sustain this type of run. (This is what all of us should be working on positioning, changing, applying, adapting) We will see returns, but we need to be able to write content that captures our reader’s attention and makes them want to come back for more.
Getting a good return on social media means you have a structure in place: both online through the sharing of content and offline through personal customer service. Keep track of your phone calls, new accounts, feedback, (positive and negative) , online inquiries, and ultimately sales. You will see an increase in all of these areas including feedback which can often lead to more sales and improved processes.
The data is out there in the form of clients and sales. It really is up to us as marketers to paint that picture which allows our readers and buyers to effectively purchase our items and share our company stories with others.
Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net