Are you asking the right questions about Social Media Marketing? Do the Executives at your company understand how Social Media should be integrated into your overall Marketing mix and assimilated into your business culture?
Whether I’m at a speaking engagement or consulting or just chatting online, ninety percent of the questions I get about Social Media Marketing are something along the lines of:
How do I prove the ROI to my Boss?
How do we get more Twitter Followers?
Why don’t we get any engagement on our Facebook Page?
My response to each of these questions is “Are you asking the right question?”
Now, I hate it when people answer a question with a question as much as anybody but I think that’s the appropriate response. Whether they want to hear it or not, the truthful answer to my question is usually ‘No.’
Before you ask one of those or a similar question, answer these questions:
- What are your company’s Goals; your Business Objectives?
- With a nod to Simon Sinek, what’s your Why?
- What are you trying to achieve with Social Media Marketing?
Let me expand on each of those questions:
What are your company’s Goals? How does your Marketing Strategy position you to achieve your Business Objectives? How can you use Social Media support them? If your Social Media Marketing Strategy isn’t specifically designed to support your company’s Goals and Business Objectives then you’re heading in the wrong direction.
What is your company’s Why? Why does your company do what you do? If you don’t think this is a powerful question then watch this video of Simon Sinek’s TedTalk then answer it again.
How does your Marketing Strategy position you to express your Why? How can you use Social Media spread you Why?
What are you trying to achieve with Social Media Marketing? Are you working to establish your business as a leader in your field? Do you use Social Media as a support and service mechanism? Are you trying to attract better employees? If you haven’t determined what you are trying to achieve how did you develop your Social Media Strategy?
If you can’t provide me with very specific answers to each of these questions then you either:
A.) Don’t have a Social Media (or worse yet Marketing) Strategy
B.) Your Strategy stinks
The good news is that once you dig deep and answer these questions, you’re ready to answer more questions:
- If you want to know where you should be on Social Media, I’ll ask ‘Where are your competitors on Social Media?’
- If you want to know what you should be doing on Social Media, I’ll ask ‘What are your competitors doing on Social Media?’
- And just so you don’t think that I’m suggesting that you copy your competitors’ Social Media Strategies my next question will be ‘Should you be doing the same thing on Social as you competitors or is this an opportunity to do something original; something that will set your company apart from your competition?’
I think you get my point. If you develop a good Social Media Strategy, it will lead you to the Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and LinkedIn answers.
But what about the ROI question?
First let’s start with an explanation:
The dictionary definition of ROI (Return On Investment) comes from the practice of accounting. I suppose you could apply this method to analyze the ROI of your Social Media Marketing efforts. I’ve done this in the past and come up with a number around 78% (cost vs income). Is this typical? Is that the question we should be asking? Before Social Media, how did you measure the ROI of your Marketing Department?
Obviously we should be measuring something. We need to have metrics and accountability. I argue that some of the results, the profit if you will, of Social Media are as much qualitative as quantitative.
Good Social Media Marketing builds Brand Loyalty and Brand Awareness. Successful Social Media establishes relevance, serves customers and attracts good employees and strategic partners. It’s hard to measure these things in a dollars and cents ROI fashion.
MY OWN ROI
If I developed my own version of Social Media Marketing ROI, it would take into account the goals, the business objectives, the Why that my Social Media Marketing Strategy was built upon and measure it against the some of these more intangible results.
Put THAT in your spreadsheet!
So my question to answer your ‘What about ROI’ question is ‘Based on your Social Media Marketing Strategy, what results are your Goals, your Business Objectives and your Why telling you to measure against?’
Well, I just counted. There are 29 questions in this article. Some are the right questions; some are the wrong questions. Let me sum this all up by saying that if you’re coming up with questions and having trouble answering them, there’s probably a more basic question that you haven’t answered yet.
So, are YOU asking the right questions? I’d be happy to talk with you and your Executive team about this. I’m sure I can come up with even more questions for you.
Original Image Credit: DuMont Television Network