Statement: Social media is not a route to quick money.
Q: What is social media ROI then?
A: The returns on social media investment are valuable new ways of addressing 5 old business preoccupations.
ROI social media for companies can
- broadcast their success and turbo boost a good reputation for quality of service or product 24/7 in text, film and audio
- position and reposition their product or service in the market through the online communities they choose to join or appeal to
- with constant and consistent communication establish themselves as credible players in their industry
If you don’t have a properly managed Facebook Page, blog and Twitter account or similar then increasingly the modern audience may wonder why (before moving on elsewhere).
Improving and extending customer service
Through social media you can perform a thousand acts of selfless kindness that will enhance your reputation.
- Provide information that may be of use to your customer that is not directly or specifically related to your business.
- A hotel might post information on local services, events, tourist destinations on its Facebook Page or blog
- A construction materials yard can contribute advice on materials, quantities etc to popular DIY blogs/forums and include links to instructional YouTube clips
- Recruitment companies can give advice on interview technique
- Alert customers to problems, delays etc
Consolidating existing business
The power of social media to capture a new audience is often emphasised but it can also be used to consolidate existing business. There will be social media fans among your clients so why not go to where they live to bolster the relationship?
Most businesses are alert to the power of a customer database and build e-mailing lists. Similar efforts should be made to recruit customers to social media streams. For example the twitter account and Youtube channel details should be visible in all company literature including brochures, invoices and e-mails.
Saving marketing dollars
Disseminating information on special offers, new product lines etc can be very expensive using traditional marketing tools like brochures, letters and press ads. Tweeting or adding information (in text, audio and film) to a Facebook page or blog is relatively cheap.
To encourage people to seek or accept product or service information via social media streams companies might offer rewards e.g. Likers of the Facebook Page item and Retweeters of a sales alert detailing a special offer win a 5% discount.
Insight – market intelligence
Social media is not a one way window. People can see in but just as importantly, you can see out. Social media provides excellent opportunities for monitoring the market.
- Watching the trends in your industry through the prism of related blogs can help you plan ahead.
- Being alert to negative comments on your product or service on Twitter you can rescue business and enhance your reputation by quickly and publicly addressing the issues in a positive and constructive way (If you’re not on Twitter ready to fight your corner bad stuff may fester)
- Signing up to Facebook and liking competitors Facebook Page you will be fed regular information on developments
- You can identify potential business partners or new staff by keeping an eye on the contributors to blogs etc
For suggestions on how you might gather ROI from social media specific to your industry take a look at my blog posts under the heading ‘Social media for industry X’ . If your industry is not yet directly addressed by any blog posts in this category then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply leave a comment below and I will endeavour to make amends.
For ideas on what a social media strategy might look like have a look at my post on a basic social media mix.
I have written another blog on Social Media ROI you might take a look at.
And finally, if you want to make a proper start on a social media strategy why not get in touch?