Social Media is EVERYWHERE these days. The important questions about social media are:  is your company using it – and are they using it effectively? Here’s all you need to know:  you and your company need to be a part of it, and they need to put in the time and energy to ensure that they are doing it “right”.   It generates exposure for you and your company.  The more people who know about you, the more chances you have to make revenue.

It’s no longer a question of “if” your business will have a presence on social media but “when” and “how.”

social mediaHowever, while many small business owners may be actively participating on social media networks, if someone were to ask them “why” or “how” they are using it to bring in new customers, many do not even have a clue.

Today, companies must create conversations with customers and deliver useful content at the moment their prospects need it, a lot of which now takes place on their social media website. Marketers can no longer push products on people. Rather, they have to put themselves on the same playing field as their prospects by creating a dialogue with their audience in order to earn a prospect’s trust.

Social media is a great tool  for sales prospecting. Using social media networks like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook allows you to expose your business to  thousands of other possible connections through the friends and or followers of the person you engage – all by just engaging with one potential customer.  This could range from hundreds to thousands of people. But once again, you need to use your social media effectively – using those “tools” professionally, appropriately and in a targeted manner.

Free social networking applications can be used for staying on top of what others are saying about your company, for market research, and also for keeping an eye and ear on what  your competitors are doing.

However, many companies are still having a hard time understanding just how their social media platform is going to generate more ROI.

The bottom line is that it’s been proven that social media works.

Though not easily seen on the surface, there are ways to determine just how effective your social media campaign is.  You just need to do some math to figure it out.

Social media marketing often provides instant feedback and measurable results, so businesses can immediately see which marketing strategies are working for them and which ones are not.

1:  You need to calculate the ROI of your social media efforts.

–  If you’re going to calculate the ROI of your social media campaign, you’re going to have to know math. Social media is not just about bragging about how many Twitter followers you have. There’s a lot more to it, and the time will have to be allocated for it, but the valuable information you come away with will be worth it.

The future of social media is about math, metrics and monetization.

Start by always remembering that the most important value proposition and monetization opportunities that social media provides is to reach prospects and customers where they are and in the way they want to be reached.

The problem is that most companies aren’t doing an effective job of measuring the value of their social media campaigns. In fact, about half of the customers we surveyed weren’t able to report whether their campaigns were working, or not.

If you’re one of the people who isn’t measuring your social media campaigns on an ROI basis, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

In keeping with the context of the sales funnel, the key areas to evaluate and measure brand awareness falls into three categories:  social media exposure, influence and engagement.

2:  You need to measure your social media exposure – How many people could you have reached with your message?

Social media is about creating repeat customers, not acquiring first-time customers.

Consequently, your ROI analysis needs to focus on social media’s ability to turn customers into fans. Potential social media ROI calculations include:

  • Measuring revenue generated from customers that you have engaged with in social media.
  • The longevity of the value. This measures the frequency of sales, and what the totals were before and after your social media program was put forth. You need to set a baseline before initiating your campaign, so that you have something to measure it against.  Take note of how many customers left you, and then make a note of how much that number went down after using social media?
  • Operations. How much have your inbound customer service calls gone down since you started social media?

3: You need to measuring “engagement”, or how many people actually did something with your message or your information?

This measurement is very important because it shows how many people actually felt enough “value” that it resulted in their engaging in some kind of action.

4:  Measuring the Influence that you are having online.  In other words,  you want to look at whether the engagement metrics listed above are positive, neutral or negative in sentiment.  What is the feeling that people are left with after engaging with your social media?

The last part of the lead generation funnel is no longer about brand awareness, but rather, it’s where the ROI-driven action comes into play.

Brand awareness in your funnel is made up of all of the above:  awareness, influence and engagement, and it is in YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF EACH  OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS THAT WILL LET YOU INTERPRET YOUR WEB PRESENCE AND IMPACT.

Build a social media Dashboard.  Having all of the above information means nothing if you do not “come away from it” with meaningful information. (Please check out my other blog about social media dashboards)

The information here was to let you know just how much information can be gathered from social media, and that it’s not just about putting random information out there.   There is a science to it, and though it may take a little time to get used to and understand it, THE VALUE  iN SOCIAL MEDIA IS THERE and every business should be putting together their strategy for getting on board.   Help is also available, so if you find yourself needing that “support”, just let us know on our coaching page at marcogiunta.com/salescoaching.

Whatever you do, get involved and get involved THE RIGHT WAY –  and jump on the social media bandwagon.  Because once jumping on, you’ll quickly forget – just like when you have kids – what  your life was like BEFORE social media.

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