Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI

As I learn more and more about social media, I think more and more about how it can be used as a business tool. And I can tell you, there is no shortage of ideas out there as to how this technology can impact your bottom line. However, this is something that you have to take seriously if you want to do it right. Anything you do on social media, or really anywhere, is a reflection on your company. So, don’t take it lightly.

How do you do it right? I was reading an article entitled “7 Ways To Convert Your Social Media Followers Into Paying Evangelists” that had some good insights. It started by saying that “a social media profile represents a business’ online identity. Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to spend time and effort in order to ensure that their social media profiles are informational, interesting and appealing to their fans/ followers. However, building an impressive profile and building a large follower base is only half the battle. The other and perhaps equally important other half of the battle is to turn your social media followers and friends into paying evangelists. If you can’t convert your followers into customers, your social media strategy needs to be re-evaluated. You must make a conscious effort to transform these social media connections into business revenues.” I couldn’t agree more. Here are some tips to help you turn social media followers into paying customers.

First, the article suggests that “social media is all about engagement and dialogue. If you are using Facebook and Twitter for blatant sales pitches, such monologues are of little use. It misses the personal touch and fails to strike a connection with your followers. Unless you engage meaningfully with your followers, it’s wishful thinking to believe that they’ll sign up as your customers.”

In any forum you have to know your audience. Just think about it: Do you like to be sold? Of course not, but you do like getting information that you are after. So, target your audience and give them valued information that will make them more interested in what you do.

Second, the article goes on to say, “People love to know what they’re missing and how you can add value with your products/ services. Show your personality to your fans/ followers and make them a part of what you are doing, there by adding to the value chain.”

You have to be real. Don’t be the stereotypical slimy car salesman type. Be a friend. Be a thought leader. You have to be genuine and tell people using social media some things that you think they don’t know. You have to be a trusted source of new information.

Third, the article notes that, “it’s a tricky situation as you want to keep your followers engaged and active and not exhaust them with sales pitches. It’s important to keep your topics well balanced, and throw in a correct mix of personal posts and discussions with work-related promotional posts. Create a buzz about your promotional posts without overdoing it. Offer an exclusive discount or bonus to your followers if they purchase one of your products or events. This also helps track how many people are signing up as customers from your social media efforts.”

I take this to heart. For example, I’m very active on social media sites like twitter. I post regularly, but I don’t spam and my posts are evenly distributed between posts about my company and posts about business strategy.

We’ll talk next week about more tips on how you can make social media pay off.