“What is the return on investment from Social Media?”
Now in cases where a Social Media campaign is being implemented by a business itself, by existing personnel for example, the only real cost is time, and it does take time and dedication to implement a Social Media campaign effectively. There may be a small cost to train the relevant member of staff initially.
But in my case it’s different, as my clients are paying me directly to manage their Social Media platforms for them, and as with most things that you pay for, you expect to see some kind of return.
In my opinion however, there are different forms of return and these all need to be taken into account.
Firstly, before implementing a Social Media campaign, you need to know what you’re aiming to achieve from it. I think that primarily your main aim through using Social Media is to drive people to your existing ‘main’ website. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, think of your website as the ‘Sun’ in the middle, and of your Social Media platforms as ‘planets’ orbiting around it.
Professor Brian Cox I ain’t but hopefully you get the picture!
Secondly, I genuinely believe that at some point in the near future, businesses will have little choice but to use Social Media in one form or another to communicate with their clients / potential clients. Whether that’s because Facebook becomes the default way to log into the majority of websites (giving you one portal for all the websites you use – handy?) or that Facebook messaging becomes the ‘new email’ I’m not sure, but sooner rather than later it will have an even bigger part to play than it already does, in much the same way the the second version of the internet overtook the first version.
Also, your competitors are most likely using Social Media. The vast majority of your customers are too. So unless you want to play catch-up later on, it’s a good idea to be there now.
Lastly, a question. What’s the return on investment of a receptionist? Or a secretary? I would view Social Media much the same way. Social Media is doing a job for you. It’s increasing your online presence, enhancing your online reputation, boosting the chances of your business being found by the search engines, allowing you to hear what your customers are saying about you, allow potential customers to see actual examples of how you treat your customers and clients… and that’s not even scratching the surface.
Recent studies are now showing that Return On Engagement is a more effective way of measuring the success of your Social Media output. Please let me know your thoughts too!