Where’s The Value?
The elusive topic of marketing ROI can cause even the best minds in the industry to go a little crazy. My favorite thought leader, Gary Vaynerchuck, addresses social media ROI very well in this video if you have a three minutes to spare (warning: he likes to curse a bit).
So I am going to attempt to walk you through just a few of the major benefits of a good social media campaign, even though there is much MUCH more to it. But it’s a start, right?
It all starts with a search. Someone is in need of a product or service, and you hope that they stumble upon you as the product/service provider and choose to do business with you. Along the way, friends, family, strangers, search results, advertisements, etc. influence the consumer into making purchasing decisions.
So you know people are searching for a business like yours. How easy is it for people to find your business? It’s most likely that your potential customer is taking to the computer/phone to find you – in fact, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying. If you’re local, you’re lucky: Google maps’ directory of local businesses is one of the first search results to come up. Having a great listing with fantastic photos, a lot of 4-5 star reviews and a very descriptive and optimized “about” page is going to set you apart.
But people don’t stop there. They Google your business name too. And when they Google your business name, your website comes up and so do all of your social media profiles. So even if you THINK people aren’t looking at your Facebook page, think again. They are. And if your posts are a year old or the most recent posts you have are poorly written and use stock photography showing a visible watermark, then there’s a good chance your potential customer is going to assume that your service/product is of the same quality as what you’re putting out there to represent your brand. Poor. You put a lot of time and effort into your storefront and your in-person customer service, why wouldn’t you put the same effort into your digital storefront and your digital customer service?
Lets say I’m one of the 19% of people who doesn’t conduct online research before buying – that means I’m ONLY relying on recommendations from others, advertising and sheer dumb luck (these people really exist?) With social media’s strong social sharing features, my friends are constantly tagging me on Pinterest to show me a great pair of shoes they found, or on Instagram to let me know about a delicious new restaurant with fantastic looking food for my husband’s birthday. The word of mouth capabilities are so much more enhanced, that even if you’re not an active social media user, you can’t hide from the suggestions of the people around you. It’s word of mouth… on steroids.
And online advertising is so advanced these days that you can get your ad in front of people who are really, seriously looking for a product/service like yours. Target your competitors’ fans, target gadget enthusiasts and trendy homemakers… these are literally “buyer profiles” that I can connect with on Facebook. And the cost to connect with these people? Pennies. We have had ad campaigns run for 5 cents per website click.
To reiterate Gary’s point, the ROI is there, it’s just not easy to put a number on it. But social media is one of (if not THE) most effective forms of marketing. It’s not like traditional advertising that relies on luck, it’s more calculated and targeted than radio, magazines, and televion, not to mention more affordable.
You could rely on the old, traditional methods (which sometimes can help – don’t get us wrong!) to reach customers a few times in a year or for a similar price you could reach your audience all year long, with a variety of timely messages online with a FULL YEAR of social media marketing and digital advertising campaign!
Are you ready to get started?