Your community. They support you. They cheer you on. They share about what you’re doing to make the world a better place. They buy your products and services. And…they’re talking about you even if you’re not present. So why do you executives have such a hard time getting behind social media intiatives?
The answer I hear most is – “We can’t track the ROI.”
I’m pretty sure a kitten dies every time the phrase is even uttered. So if you care about kittens at all…stop using this as your reason for not investing in healthy, vibrant online community. The truth is- there are many ways to track the ROI. And there are many ways to interpret what ROI means within your organization.
Let’s break it down.
Being the source of knowledge in your field keeps you top of mind to consumers. They may not be in the market for a new (insert product here) yet, but when they are, YOU are who they’ll come to first. Why? Because you’ve created a digital community with relevant and sometimes entertaining content. You engage with your community and you show that you care when something goes wrong. What’s the value of that? It’s invaluable.
Once a consumer begins to make their way down the sales funnel – it is possible to track. There are tons of tools out there that will document the customer journey down to a single tweet. This journey can be segmented too. Are you having a sale on gold bracelets? There are technologies that will allow you to see who opened your last email with gold braceletes as the header image. Now you’re tracking gold-loving customers. Being able to segment your online customers and tailor individual messages through not only email, but also social media, use to be a pipe dream. Now it’s a trackable reality.
There are plenty of items in your marketing budget that are hard to track the ROI on. For example, it’s extrememly hard to measure the result of PR. Yet, every marketing budget has a line item for PR with no problem. It’s just something that has been accepted as the cost of business. Digital marketing – social media in particular – needs to become an accepted cost of business. According to a recent HubSpot poll – “87% of Gen X’ers (30 to 44 year olds) and even 70% of those ages to 45 to 60 think brands should, at the very least, have a Facebook page.”
So let me ask again – Why do executives have such a hard time getting behind social media initiatives?
Brands that aren’t investing in building their online community are falling further behind each day. Not only do customers expect you to respond via social media but they now expect service along every step of the buying process. Customers want a personal relationship with their favorite brands. And – if you’re not talking with them, they’re still talking about you. Don’t you want to be there to support that?
Executives – get on board. Enlist the help of a specialist, not a random intern. Start building your online community. If you already have an online presence, improve it. Grow it. Show your customer that you’re there for them. You may not be able to track the value of their respect for you, but you can track the end result of the journey.