Don’t worry if you are, it seems a lot of people still are. People are still asking the wrong questions when it comes to social media. What’s the ROI? being the ultimate incorrect question to start with. Rather than think about what your return is. I look at it the other way round. What’s the COI? And I’ll reveal what that is at the end.
It’s been a long time since I last blogged on this platform, I have since taken to using LinkedIn posts. But I am making a concerted effort to get back into the routine of blogging here. After all I teach that businesses without a blog are missing SEO value as well as the opportunity to create more great, relevant content for their followers. For too long it’s been a case of do as I say, not as I do. So time to change! Time to get back to what Microsoft call ‘Dog fooding’. When I worked there at the beginning of my career. Dog Fooding was the idea of using your own products or services internally and effectively become the first case study for any new product, or enhancements etc. After all, if you didn’t use your own, why would anyone else buy it, right???
About 5 or 6 years ago, there were some who uttered the sentence ‘Don’t worry, social media is just a fad, it will pass.’ Some are rueing those words for sure. Social media has become a major part not just of digital marketing communications, but of our lives in general. With this penetration into just about all areas of our lives, businesses are looking at the most effective ways to get their message in front of you, just when you need it. Get social media right and you have an absolutely amazing tool to really move your business to the next level. It’s all about building relationships, trust and a community. Driving that community from the social channels to your world (your website) and then getting them to take action once they get there. Get them to opt in to your world. Then, you can direct them wherever they need to go, and help them take the necessary customer journey to get them to where you want them to be. And that is not always a paying customer. Brand advocates that believe in your ethos and cause are just as valuable as those coming through your virtual or real door and paying you for you product or service.
This infographic from Branching Out Europe perfectly demonstrates just how social media can help your business today, in 2015. What I would like to highlight here is that social media and digital marketing are over a decade old now. Why is it that your company still doesn’t understand how it can help? If you can’t answer that question, I’d be happy to hear from you!!
To finish this post off, as promised, we will talk about the COI of social media. Whilst the return on investment of your social media activity is an obvious but mis placed question to ask. What most companies should be more concerned with, is the COI. The Cost of Ignorance. Putting off getting your social media strategy together, waiting another 6 months before dipping your toe in the water of social media marketing and communications, puts you further and further behind the curve.
Your customers if not now, will in the very near future, expect to communicate with you through the social media channel of their preference. Not YOURS. If they cannot find you on their preferred channel, you don’t exist. If you don’t exist you can’t get new customers, and if you don’t have customers you don’t have a business.
Investing in your digital and social media strategy today means your business might just be here in 3 years time. But don’t just start ‘doing’ social for the sake of it, that’s not going to work either. You need to take time to think about where your business is going and you need to take a slightly bigger picture view of things to ensure all your marketing and communication activity are actually driving you in the direction you want your business to go.
Just remember. The cost of ignorance in my opinion is far greater than the return on investment you are searching for. Start asking the right questions.