If I had a buck for every time I was asked “How can I make money from social media?” I wouldn’t have to write posts about making a buck from social media.
The problem is not with social media itself. No platform worth its cyber-salt ever claimed that you’d make millions by posting, uploading or liking social media content.
Oh, I know, I know. How about Oreos, Dell, Coca-Cola, Old Spice, Kim Kardashian etc you ask. And I’d answer “Yes, but…”.
All of those brands and the many others that are profiled in seemingly every social media presentation were major brands either before or separate to the influence of social media. That’s my point. Wrestling with the answer to the ROI from social media is like trying to quantify the ROI from your receptionist. Each has their undoubted benefits but being able to spend $1 on either with the certainty of getting $5 back is not one of them.
Neither can do you or your organisation any good in isolation. You need your other marketing initiatives in place for social media to be truly effective. By effective, that means integrating with those elements to deliver my favourite marketing equation of: 1 + 1 = 23.5.
So the only way to consistently make money from social media is for it to become a fundamental part of how you do business with the outside world.
What’s too often forgotten when any marketing investment is being reviewed is that success is not about doing one thing occasionally, it’s about doing a hundred little things consistently. There are few more visual, flexible, dynamic and interactive ways to do lots of little things than via social media.
The frustration of course is that it’s hard to highlight exactly what the financial return is from your social media investment. But try cutting social media altogether – or doing it poorly – and see how your increasingly discerning markets think of you; particularly compared to competitors that are active on social media.
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