Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh ROI, Oh ROI - Is That Your Horse?*

image via Pulp Creative Paper

Sometimes I hate social media because of how fast stuff moves.

This morning, before I was really awake, I saw a Tweet or an FB post about a quote from someone whose branding expertise I appreciate. And of course, when I went to write this post, I couldn't remember who made the original quote and who passed it on. Gah. And by then, the tweets had scrolled away and so had the FB updates. (Sometimes it's a real pain being an INTP - I can always remember the data, but not who I got it from.)


The quote was about Return on Investment (ROI) and how one should not be asking about the metrics on ROI for using social media but for the taking of a specific action. It was a condensation of what I had been thinking about every time I thought about ROI.

With Social Media, Don't Question the Strategy, Question the Tactics

Social Media is a given, or should be, in terms of the overall strategy for supporting your mission. Which platform you use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) or the combination you use to connect with your constituency is tactics, and that's where you should be looking for your ROI.

Are You in The Right Place?

This means that you should be evaluating where you're spending your time in social media and whether the followers or fans or members you attract are those you want to attract. If you're not attracting the "right" people, maybe the horse you rode in on isn't the right one for you or you're calling it by the wrong name. Could be:

  • You're in the wrong place
  • You're putting out the wrong message
  • You're trying to control the space instead of letting the members have it
  • A combination of the above

Tweak your tactics in specific areas and look at the results to determine if you're achieving the ROI you targeted, or at least that the metrics show you're moving in the right direction. And please remember that "messaging" doesn't mean you talk and they listen, but the reverse.

If you aren't evaluating your individual actions - your tactics - you're undermining your social media strategy and that "big white horse" could easily become a big white elephant.

*Lyrics borrowed from "Long Tall Texan" (Beach Boys version)
Hey, I think I got the quote from @thebrandbuilder via @shannonpaul on Twitter!

1 comment :

subquark said...

Very well stated! It is easy to spend a lot of time with social media, but it is also easy to set it up so that you don't have to.

With Twitter quickly becoming the centre of the social networking universe, you can really leverage your efforts very well. Of course it depends on your goals and demographic you are wanting to attract.

For my small endeavor, my "inbound marketing strategy" is pretty simple and seems effective.

My blog is the the workhorse with posts automatically updating Twitter and LinkedIn, which then updates Facebook. The addition of a Flickr image in each daily blog post means higher SEO and my Flickr also updates Facebook and my blog's sidebar.

Of course, it helps being a wee bit obsessive with 5,300 Flickr images, 4,440 Twitter followers, and 3,300 Facebook friends (should have been a fan page).

But this strategy is not for everyone, and my endeavor is a 12 sim Second Life estate, so blog posts do not have to be very long or in-depth and it's easy to have images for Flickr.

Thank you for the post, it helps me refocus and stay on track. =)