The bottom line on social media ROI

bottom lineHow many articles do we have to read about social media marketing ROI before marketers realize that you can’t measure the ROI on every conversation?  The truth is that many marketers have to justify their budgets because company executives are used to cutting “expenses” to improve bottom line results and because too many agency people and “experts” have over sold social media as a golden path to increased sales.

Social media is part of consumer touch points, but ONLY when a consumer has something to ask or bitch about.  The idea that consumers have the time to follow brands is myopic.  Today, consumers just don’t have the time to read all the content that 99% of brands push to us.  However, if someone wants to know how to get a grass stain out of their pants they probably are going to ask someone via social media and if you ignore them you risk losing them as a potential customer.

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If someone asks if you need social media your push back should ne “do we need a customer service department?”.  

Social media is part of an integrated marketing program, but you shouldn’t expect social media to provide magic results that suddenly lead to increased sales and profit.  That’s not going to happen even though the top social media experts keep promoting the channel, and themselves, via their websites.

Here’s an idea….take the time you spend trying to justify social media and instead listen to consumers and get out of the office to talk to people on the front line, i.e. in store, where purchase decisions are made.  You’ll learn a lot more instead of spending countless hours with spreadsheets trying to justify social media to executives who have a hard time believing anything coming from marketing.

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