The ROI of Social Media

Social Media ROIIn today’s world of make a buck quick or don’t play, it’s hard to tell a business owner that they may not see a return on their investment (ROI) for many months, perhaps even a year or more depending on the business. However, if you can live by the three Ps – Patience, Persistence and Persnickety, you will be rewarded.

Business owners often ask, “If social media doesn’t have a quick ROI. How should I view it?” Let’s start by breaking up what social media is and what it is not.

Social media isn’t Sales.

SALES: The exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.

Social media isn’t really Marketing.

MARKETING: The action or business of promoting and selling products or services. Ironically, the more you try to push your products or services in social media the more you will find people back away.

Social media is partially Public Relations.

PUBLIC RELATIONS: The professional maintenance of a favorable public image by an organization or a famous person.

Social media is partially business communications.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS: The imparting or exchanging of information or news.

Social media is part Business Networking.

BUSINESS NETWORKING: To link or connect to others in business.

“How should I view social media?” In my humble opinion, social media is something new. It’s a hybrid of what we have known to be marketing, public relations, business communications and business networking. When social media is successful it leads to improved marketing and more sales.

Let’s compare social media to search engine optimization (SEO). It took years for SEO specialists to help their clients understand that the ROI on natural search projects can’t happen overnight and like social media, SEO requires adherence to the 3 P’s (patience, persistence and persnickety). Today, many of those same clients are seeing the fruit of their labor in the form of higher and more stable positions in search results.

Social media is all about building your online presence, cultivating relationships and sharing knowledge. So if you’ve been holding off on using social media, or questioning the ROI, think about it this way: Social media gives you the opportunity to be there when your customer is ready to engage. If done right, you will have already gained your customer’s trust and likely demonstrated that you have the right product or service. Wouldn’t you rather be there when they are ready to buy, than be standing on the sidelines questioning the ROI?

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.