I think far to many people are seeking a quick ROI from social media and I think this applies to both small entrepreneurs and larger companies who are now finally poking around in the social media sphere. What I see going on with most businesses in the social media space right now is wanting to take before they give. The hope is to show up, create a twitter account, a facebook page, pay some intern to do a few updates and start harvesting new incremental business.
Speaking bluntly it doesn’t work that way in social media and today I am formally rendering my confession, I used to do the same thing. When I first say social media I looked at is a lot like SEO, learn the system, manipulate it and gain traffic with it. I had limited success with this approach but when I quite trying and stated to simply SERVE my audience in the social media space everything changed.
Today if I were asked what my ROI is on social media I would simply respond with the following,
- My main business has about 15,0000 listeners
- The facebook page for it is composed of more than 5,000 listeners (customers)
- That means about 1/3rd of my audience is using facebook and wants to talk to me there
So with that being the case what would the negative ROI if I were to ignore a means of communication that 1/3rd of my customers want me to use to communicate with them? This is the reason to be using social media today, the incremental business is there but you won’t see it until you take the time to better serve your existing audience.
For those companies that say “our customers don’t use social media”, let me one more time today say BULLSHIT! Here is an excerpt from an article that is like a year old already (a year is a decade online by the way)
Seventy-five percent of online Americans aged 18 to 24 years old belong to a social network; 57 percent of those aged 25 to 34; 30 percent of those aged 35 to 44; 19 percent of those aged 45 to 54; 10 percent of those aged 55 to 64 and just seven percent of those aged 65 and older.
Get that one in the primary spending demographics,57 percent of those aged 25 to 34; 30 percent of those aged 35 to 44. Social Media is a genie that we can never put back in the bottle, it will take over everything from daily spending choices to corporate communications in time. Those who embrace it now will prosper and those who ignore it risk ending up behind the biggest economic 8-Ball in history.