We're always asked if we can provide some figures to support a 'Social Media' transformation project.
The short answer is yes, we have an ROI Calculator. It provides a pretty accurate (85%) sales forecast from the 'successful' implementation of our 'Social Selling' program.
The other answer is, that in what is a relatively new methodology, process, approach, and mindset to the utilisation of social media outside of advertising (someone had to get it wrong before they got it right) there is literally no external reliable research that ties social media engagement to tangible financial benefits.
I've provided a useful link (below) to the research article that discusses the following points;
We sort of “feel” it makes a difference — more engagement is better — but is it?
Here’s where it gets interesting. The researchers found that the question and answer category can indeed be tied to some financial benefit. When people start solving each other’s problems, it saves the company money.
But getting to that point of trust takes a lot of work and time. Most individuals need to feel comfortable and connected before they are willing to ask a question that might make them feel vulnerable.
For this reason, the ROI of engagement is typically negative until the culture supports and rewards regular asking and answering.
A longer-term play, has the be part of the mindset change than just a short term 'tactical' fix.
- Customer engagement is not normally connected to brand loyalty.
- Most social media engagement does not lead to short-term financial benefits.
- Social sharing is an important metric because it represents organic advocacy.
- Social media engagement that leads to customer community can create tangible business benefits.
- Social media engagement may open opportunities to actionable new business relationships.
- Engagement can improve content reach efficiency and promotional costs.
- Social media engagement has value when it encourages the right organizational discipline.
And, point 8 in the article also mentions the 'lurker'.
So, I thought it would be useful to debunk some of the myths surrounding 'Social Selling'.
- If you don't engage in a social transformation strategy for the long term there is little chance you will 'win' anything, but your competitor who does might!.
- We cannot evidence (yet) any B2B sales that have taken place purely on social media.
- We can evidence that a significant number (and growing) of them started on social media - it's driven by changes in behaviour in the traditional buying funnel.
- We can evidence that the sales funnel in B2C is already collapsing, and 'one click' sales are already in place - ever heard of Amazon?
- We never say that the 'sale' isn't closed without some kind of face to face meetings taking place - people buy from people they trust and know.
- We can evidence that people are turning away from your website being the first destination for a potential prospect.
- We can evidence that more and more people are turning to social platforms for independent 'social proof' around 'who' you and and your employees really are.
- We can evidence that doing nothing, get's you nothing in today's digitally connected world - a suck it and see strategy isn't really a strategy.
At DLA Ignite we specialise in helping companies and the internal 'Change Makers' deliver on all these points, and I'm pretty sure we can help you as well.
We have a tried and tested methodology, we hold you and your colleagues hand throughout, ensuring we not only 'teach' you what to do, we also make sure its firmly embedded into your firms and employees DNA.
We don't do retainers, we are not an agency that creates and produces copy/content or sells ads for you.
We are active 'practitioners' of what we do, we already know and can evidence the ROI of a robust and internally aligned 'Social' strategy.
Part of that evidence it that you are reading this blog, just like many others - including your competitor!
We also don't do outbound pushy, salesy marketing, so if you would like to explore more, please contact the author of this blog.
One of the go-to business metrics of the social media era is engagement. It just makes sense. If people are engaging with our content through likes, shares, and comments, that seems like a reasonable precursor to valuable business benefits.