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Measuring Social Media

by fatweb


Graeme Russell runs Adage Business, a boutique marketing/communications agency that assists businesses and nonprofits with the planning and implementation of communication and social media strategies.

Almost everyone is talking about social media, how great it is (or isn’t), best practice and of course what the return is from its use.

Everyone looks to social media to engage and build awareness of themselves, their business and more. Businesses use it to build customer knowledge, to act as a customer service tool and of course to gain business.

But where many seem to have a problem is working out what the ROI is.

ROI is traditionally seen as ‘return on investment’, money in the bank, but there is another way to look at ROI, and that is ‘return on involvement’.

What is return on involvement? It’s what you gain from being present on any of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

If you’re using any social media and wondering why you’re not gaining from it, it’s likely that it’s the content you are sharing that is letting you down.

If you want to gain from social media you need to take yourself less seriously. Don’t always ‘talk shop’ as gone are the days of B2B and B2C marketing; it’s all P2P now — person to person, and that’s where the win is with social media.

Sharing information about the business is important, but social media should be avoided if it’s only going to be used to push your bandwagon. If people are themselves online, sharing stories, offering tips and tricks outside of their normal business messages, they will gain more.

It’s the involvement with others in social media that will yield results; it’s the content and engagement that is important. For business, it gives the ability to listen to what people are saying about them, this then gives an opportunity for ‘issues’ to be dealt with almost immediately, helping brand reputation.

Unlike traditional promotional activities which focus on pushing your message, social media works on the ‘attracting pull’ premise.

A quick look at social media sites will show that people are asking questions — they want to know the best restaurant, café, shopping area, where to stay and much more.

Anyone can answer these questions — but, where some business let themselves down and miss out on ROI, is that they are not monitoring to see what people are talking about. If people are talking about your business sector, and quite likely your business, you need to be listening.

Think of social media as a pond, you drop a pebble in a pond and ripples emanate out, that’s what happens when you post a message on your social media profile. How far it goes depends on your network, your connections and also how far they in turn share it with their connections.

The wider the spread the more impact your update has, the more impact the greater the eventual possible return on investment.

So before you start looking at the bottom line and wondering where the money is to be made using social media, think more about the relationships you can build — this will be worth a lot more than mere money in the bank.

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