Social media is arguably bigger than ever in 2017. How dare we question the almighty social media gods? Well, for small businesses, it really comes down to ROI. When was the last time you asked yourself if your current investment in social media (this includes staff time, not just money) is getting you the results you need?
One situation we see frequently is small and mid-sized businesses who know they should be doing social media to stay “relevant,” and commit a certain level of resources to doing just that. However, they haven’t committed enough to really make their social media presence flourish, and they’re stuck in the “in-between” zone—investing resources but not really getting any results.
It’s a good practice for all businesses to regularly ask some tough questions about social media ROI. To do this, start by evaluating where you currently stand:
What is your current level of investment?
Because we’re all immersed in social media every day, it may actually be hard for a business to easily quantify its level of investment in social media without specifically documenting its activities. Take the time to track down not only the funds you spend on social media advertising but also the hours your team spends on social media every week.
What kinds of results are you getting?
Have you ever tried to measure the results you’re getting from your social media efforts? Results come in many shapes, and it’s up to you to decide which are most relevant to your company. They might include:
- Direct conversions to sales or RFPs
- Increases in website traffic
- Improvements to customer service responsiveness
- Creation of general brand awareness
Once you know the answers to these two questions, it’s a simple matter of comparing the resources you’re putting in to the results you’re getting. For instance, you may find that you’re spending 4 hours of staff time a week on social media, and have gotten 200 new followers in the past year. Is spending one hour of employee time to gain one new follower worth it to you?
If you do find that you’re not getting a good ROI from social media, you have two options:
Cut Down to Basics
Every business should have a basic social media presence for online discoverability, and also to get more mileage out of their content by posting across different channels. But if you’re posting on social media every single day and still aren’t getting any significant engagement, you may get a higher return by decreasing your social media investment to the “baseline” level and instead spending the time and funds on another marketing channel that shows promise.
Double Down on Social Media
If you’re not getting any results from social media, the right way forward may be counterintuitive—you may have to make a larger investment to increase your ROI . Whether you’re trying to boost direct sales, get more online traffic, or just gain more followers, there are strategies you can employ that have been shown to work. The key is that they will likely require a higher level of investment from you.
Need help navigating the stormy seas of social media marketing? Get in touch with us!