How to Gauge Value and Success in Social Media
An Engaged Audience and Digital Presence is about more than Money
By Ryan Crockett, 6 December 2015
“What’s the measurable ROI on social media marketing?”
If you’re in the business of social media, reading this question probably made your eyes roll. You’ve been asked this all-important question countless times in interviews and conversations with managers, clients, and friends alike. So… what is the tangible, measurable monetary value of social media? What’s the point?
Answers are as diverse as the question is complex.
Some use mathematical formulas to calculate ROI, others track lead generation via CRM, some refuse to measure SMM altogether. Social media marketing is different than the “put X in, get Y out” mentality the corporate world is accustomed to. In a fluid, qualitative advertising channel as unpredictable as social, value isn’t properly explained through arithmetic.
A better question is: “What makes social media marketing invaluable, essential, a necessity?”
A well-developed social media presence is required in our digital-oriented era because it establishes public legitimacy. When a brand is followed by an active, engaged audience on Facebook users see instant social credibility. A business suddenly feels real, authentic, honest. This opportunity for positive ethos and consumer influence is enhanced by consumers interacting with brands directly on social sites.
This is ROI that goes far beyond your accounting department.
How a Genuine Voice and Character Drives Successful Social Strategy
Legitimacy and transparency on social media provides immense ROI to brands, and it’s created by truthful, consistent authenticity in digital social universe. From your profile descriptions and cover photos to content shared and audience engagement, all should speak to your unique character. Every word published on the internet should be done by design and a dedication to what makes you distinctively you.
The most successful brands are doing more than using the latest media software and tracking daily social trends. Companies like Zappos, Tesla, and Netflix may have big marketing departments with money to throw at social branding, but they’re set apart by distinctive reputations crafted by every organic post, paid ad, and conversation recorded since they set up their first Facebook business page. Just as you established your reputation as “The Party Machine” back in college, the giants of social media developed their prestige through action. Now in the collective consumer conscience, they’ve made a lasting mark on our digital community.
The value of authenticity gained from social media is innately understood by users, and there is substantive professional data to support this. “Honesty about products and services” ranked as more important to consumers than product utility, brand appeal, or even online popularity. At the end of the day, the brands and businesses we adore are unique. They engage us, inspire us, they are unafraid engage the digital social realm without facade. Through the power of authenticity on social media, these role models influence entire societies in real time with a single like or share.
After all, the whole point of social media is sharing your story. Be real, be unique, be yourself.