When someone asks me what the ROI of social media is, I always tell them it depends on their goals. Identifying the outcome you want from the investment you’re willing to make is essential to determining whether or not the investment is worthwhile.
Every business goal requires a unique brand building strategy. Goals first, strategy second.
As authors, publishers, small to mid-sized companies, and entrepreneurs either jump aboard or ramp up their social media branding efforts, it is prudent to think old school while in the social media marketing planning phase.
If a business were planning to spend $10,000 in print advertising, they would go through the exercise of goal setting as they prepared a creative brief for the advertising agency. Borrowing from that model to plan a social media campaign makes sense in that some aspects of social media engagement are really a new form of advertising, albeit a very sophisticated new form with multiple levels of psychology and strategy.
When writing a creative brief for an advertising campaign, some common marketing goals might include:
1. Creating brand buzz and garnering accolades
2. Crowd sourcing new ideas
3. Driving a purchase action
4. Influencing opinions
5. Building an e-mail list for future marketing
6. Conducting research polls to generate news
7. Driving search results to rank for keywords or search terms
8. Growing a passionate following of brand evangelizers
9. Building a transparent customer service model
10. Soliciting product evaluations, reviews and feedback
An individual campaign won’t satisfy all of these goals but each of these goals can be attacked with social media. Each of these goals would have a different campaign strategy and only after identifying the goal, can a business settle on the messaging, delivery methods and appropriate social media technology platforms. Goals first, strategy informed by goals second, and a disciplined approach to monitoring results will help every brand create a high ROI with social marketing.