If you’re a marketer, this is probably a question you’re fed up of being asked. But does social media really generate a return on investment for most companies? By this I don’t mean Levis or Hollister, I mean the vast majority of business, small and medium enterprises who are spending their valuable time to try to get social to work for them.
There’s been a lot of frustration over the years with social, Facebook in particular. Businesses have felt hard done by as the algorithm has changed and the page likes they grew through advertising have become devalued as less of their audience see their posts now. A lot of criticism has been leveled at Facebook for this, however this is a natural progression of the platform – of course users will see less from every page if there are more pages, and each user keeps liking more and more pages – there’s only so much room in the News Feed, and people do still want to see updates from friends and family members too!
Another issue for businesses is being able to track whether they really are generating ROI or not. For bigger enterprises this can be less of an issue, but for a smaller local business, having the software and technical expertise to track everything through your CRM or accounting system can be hard. That’s where companies like DMC Software can help you, by getting you the best system possible and making sure it’s set up to measure everything you need.
The next issue is time. For smaller businesses, maintaining a social profile can take a lot of time out of their busy day. Tools like Hootsuite can help with this by allowing the scheduling content, but it still takes time to research and write the content to share. Business owners have to question whether this is a good use of their time. Using an agency is out of reach for most, and hiring people in is too. That’s why it’s key to understand the value that can be gained from social so that the business can appreciate how much time it’s worth putting in. If it’s literally giving your business nothing, then perhaps spend an hour or two in a quiet time to maintain your social presence, whereas if the signs are promising then it makes sense to put more time in each day.
The key here is measurement. Many people feel that social media doesn’t provide ROI because it’s very hard to measure. Social gives all sorts of benefits, from additional brand awareness, to increased customer service. But, it’s new customers that pay the bills – so consider investing in a measurement system or in getting some help so that you can find out if your social media work really is worth doing!