Your Social Media ROI
About a year ago, a friend of mine decided to start a social media and public relations agency. She's smart, hustles and even thinks I occasionally know what I'm talking about. What's not to like?
I'll never forget a conversation we had soon after she got started. She told me that she didn't think there was much return on investment (ROI) with social media. Needless to say, I told her she better re-think her stance before she got in front of any prospective clients.
Since then, it's clear to me that publishers must feel the same way my friend does. Eager to become experts in new media while trying to hold on to fat profit margins that their businesses once enjoyed, social media remains a challenge for a lot of us.
During the informative "Social Media Workshop for Publishers" at last week's Publishing Business Conference and Expo, Sundeep Kapur opened a lot of eyes to the potential of not only success, but ROI from an investment in social media. Although I thought Kapur lacked any real-life examples of publishers using social media, the case studies he provided certainly got my creative juices going on how I could help take our social media efforts to the next level.
Here are some of my takeaways:
- A simple social media strategy is better than no social media strategy.
- Readers will identify more with a person rather than a brand. Successful social media programs create a memorable persona. We're lucky to have a young woman on our audience development team who plays roller derby and wears a septum ring in her nose. Off to a good start!
- Posts to your Twitter and Facebook pages should always ask questions instead of just using headlines. Let the audience respond and evangelize for you, and always use links back to your website.
- If you're not producing a lot of content, re-purpose what you have by using different headlines. Tease readers with story comments. Stories that get new comments are new content.
- Although one person's job description should include infusing social media knowledge to all staff, everyone must be involved. At one company Kapur helped, "only the people in shipping aren't doing social," he said.
- Attributable revenue should center on engagement. It's not hard to track the value of someone who came to you through a social media channel.
- Don't forget to tie your email efforts to your social media programs. Try a series of welcome emails over a few weeks instead of just one. Always ask for feedback and encourage email recipients to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.