Today, while in a new client meeting I was asked “what’s the ROI on social media”! As if she was looking for a tangible number for accounting purposes. And being this is a question many companies ask…the answer may surprise you.
Hah, no not really! It could be any number you want. I’ve seen companies make up numbers to put on Power Points, fliers, graphs and whatever to make their bosses feel good about social media. Or their lack of engagement using it.
And, see right there…in a nutshell…is the magic or the trick!
What really is the return on investment using social media?
What if I told you that ROI can’t be measured in this case, what would you say?
Some would say, why bother with it. Others might say, what a load of crock…everything is measurable in ROI.
Here’s the thing…
Social media is nothing more than a way to build trust with your fans, friends and followers. Can you measure trust?
What’s the ROI on Trust? Please someone get me a calculator.
Money is the byproduct of trust creation.
People need to trust you before they will shell out their hard-earned cash on you. Social media when used effectively helps bridge a bond between you and your fan base so that trust is created. The more a person trusts you, the more they will feel comfortable buying whatever you’re selling.
Social media is nothing but a conversation between you and a group of like minded individuals. That’s all it is. You share your stories, your joys, your struggles and your experiences to educate, entertain and engage your fans to which they return the favor. This what we do in real life with our friends, family and co-workers so why not use the same approach with your social network.
I don’t have time for that!
I don’t know what to post.
I’ve run out of content.
Oh, I’ve heard all the excuses. And yet, when you get to the bar with your friends you are the guy or gal who never shuts up. You have something to say about everything.
Social media is all about building trust and developing relationships.
Oh, there’s analytical data from Facebook and the other social networks of who your fan base is, where they come from, what their age range is and what the gender breakdown is. Could you use that? Sure. But, that’s not real ROI…that’s statistical information that to some degree makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and accomplished.
FYI: It’s not about how many fans you have…it’s about the quality of those fans that matters.
I’ve seen social media fan pages with 50,000 fans make zero dollars because they lack the social skills to have a conversation with someone. On the flip side, I’ve seen fan pages with only 500 followers kick butt and make thousands of bottom line extra dollars every month, just sharing with their audience heartfelt conversation.
Social equity! That’s what you’re doing. You are creating equity in another person that is bankable down the road. At the same time you are showing others why they need to bank on your social equity.
Why do I share this great information?
I find that the majority of people who come to me for help, not only have the same questions, but have the same frustrations. They’re confused at all the misdirection, misinformation and downright wrong answers.
It all starts with being social…with sharing a conversation…with building trust.