We often get asked the obvious question regarding ROI for Social Media, and as a marketing guy I get it, especially when there seems to be more money going out of the door than there is coming in.

So one of the key things we have to address at the outset is that in order for this question to be relevant on social media requires you to look down the social media lens in a different way. 

At the moment most companies activities on social media are simply replicating the 'advertise and promote' thinking they're adopting everywhere else, yet that approach is inherently flawed because the metric you are using is outdated, it just doesn't really work in the social media landscape because you think its about reach.

I'm constantly amazed at people who are talented marketeers, who when they arrive at work forget to think about why they are on social themselves (not the company), what are their habits and behaviors, and then I ask them to name the last 3 adverts they saw and did something about on social, its a rhetorical question because very few people can remember, and when pushed they tell me that adverts on social media have a habit of pissing them off because they are trying to be 'social'.

So, why do you think that everyone else is behaving differently than you?

Social media is just about that, its about being social and when we're social we don't want intrusive adverts (no matter how targeted) to interrupt what were doing, we use varying social platforms for slightly different purposes, and therefore brands need to think about how people behave on these platforms and adjust accordingly.

Social media creates conversations, we are more inclined to 'listen' and 'engage' in those conversations if they are coming from our friends and peer groups.

If brands started to create (not corporate) content, empowered by employees (who tend to have more followers than the CEO btw), engage in conversations, create conversations, and above all 'listen' you will be surprised at how your spend can go down, your sales can go up, and you can create, and join in with some very loyal communities. 

Stop measuring reach, and start creating and involving in 'engagement'.

With an effective Social Selling strategy, which is focused on internally skill based training and ongoing mentoring and support you will start to see a minimum 30% incremental increase in incremental revenues.

If you want to know how to do this, feel free to contact the author of this blog.