Whether it is a Fortune 500 or a locally operated small business, no matter the size of the company, the underlining question for many decision makers is, "What is the ROI of social media?"
For the past 10 years branding and marketing professionals have had the challenge of knowing how to answer that question and justify it. Social media does not necessarily have the tangible return like product development or spending advertising dollars. We know for a fact that social media engagement has value and there is plenty of data to indicate this. However, the issue is not the lack of data, it is knowing what data matters.
Consumers psyche has dramatically shifted in recent years. The truth is consumers can care less about advertisements trying to persuade them to take action...that type of marketing tactic is virtually dead. Most consumers, especially Millennials, care more about what their friends say about a product or service. They care more about why a company creates what they create, offer what they offer, or do what they do. Consumers have always been driven by their emotions to make a purchase, but in today's market place that concept is monumental!
For business owners and decision makers the mind set has to shift in order to truly understand the type of return on investment social media engagement has. That ROI will more than likely not lead to an instant cash return, but more importantly a greater return...conversations. Word of mouth is the currency that affects bottom lines and social media allows word of mouth to scale. Thus, companies should want to measure conversations about their brands.
Five years ago social media engagement centered around "Likes" and "Followers". Now even those things are watered down and becoming irrelevant. Status updates and tweets are not the answer. It is engaging through content, being relevant, timely, and authentic...that is the answer for building the conversation currency.
For me, social media is the channel I rely on to get news, recommendations on products, music , and sports. More and more social media platforms are emphasizing the use of photos, and more so video, and linking that to purchasing opportunities (Pintrest for example). Brands need to measure visual content as a form of "word of mouth/conversation" currency. It is clear that social media engagement is an integral part to the future of any company's marketing effort.
So how is your company looking at Social Media Engagement? Are you creating conversational content or do you have a Facebook page and think that is enough?
If interested in learning more about building rich content or if you are ready to start developing that content...get in contact with us!
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