Many small business owners come to me knowing they need Social Media Management for their business Social Media Channels. While they know they need Business Social Media Marketing and Management ROI is the most frequent concern and question that I am asked about.
To some small business owners and startups Social Media Marketing is considered to be the newest trend that has power to be taken advantage of as they have heard success stories of Social Media Marketing and see business pages all over social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest bringing in thousands, and millions of followers, consistent engagement, and see the advantages to placing the presence there but, still; what is the return on investment of hiring a social media manager, and investing that monthly marketing fee?
According to Hubspot 80% of users experienced a significant increase to their website traffic after investing in Social Media Marketing and Management. Therefore, it is safe to say that if you are willing to invest the time, and money in building strategy, creating customized graphics, and rolling out some quality content that is specifically designed for your Business Social Media Channels then there will be a significant increase in traffic that is targeted to your sales demographic and target audience.
While many clients are asking the what’s the ROI on Social Media Marketing the answer truly isn’t an easy one to provide. While Social Media Examiner tells us that 97% of Marketers are engaging in Social Media Management services, 85% of us are being honest when we say that platforms, and ROI’s truly depend on our client’s products, services, and willingness to Boost posts, generate organic traffic, and be cooperative as phases of growth take time especially on Facebook which is the growing problem in the Social Media Marketing world today. What about the other 12% of us Social Media Managers that claim that they know it all? No one knows it all, and Social Media is an ever changing market. While Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are very easy for Social Media Managers to help grow with targeted efforts, Facebook which is the top preference in marketing is the growing challenge, and market research, and platform research all shows varying algorithm, reach, and capability differences almost daily. If your personal profile isn’t linked and you aren’t willing to connect business with personal, the truth is that when it comes to Facebook you may no longer be able to get the growth that you were initially hoping for immediately but, that does not mean that you should give up or, at least give up on hope because, that isn’t the case at all. Growth is still possible it just takes other efforts, and strategy to make it happen. In this case, one platform at a time.
So, if these problems are going on what are the benefits of Social Media Management going in to 2017?
- Increased Brand Building and Recognition: Branding Building, and Recognition should be every startup, and small business’s top priority. Increasing your Brand visibility isn’t difficult but, it does take consistency, and effort. Your brands voice can only come through today via Social Media, and if that is the case then the more that you reach your target audience through Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Youtube (just to name the most frequently requested services for management) the more that you are giving your brand’s name and reputation a chance to grow through referrals, and other means that are suggested from most social channels based upon your current likes, friends likes, and inner circle feeds. The more your brand is found by your audience the more recognizable, and credible that you begin to appear gaining your target audience’s respect instead of just their attention.
- Increased Brand Loyalty: Social Media Strategy is a must have when it comes to Social Media Management. When a client comes to me, and begins the Social Media Management planning phase what many fail to understand is why I take so much time out to get to know their brand, them, and their client base. I take about a week for this process alone, and go through their Social Media Platforms, and Web Presence options in order to get the best possible results in growth for their brand. Growth does not come without strategy and communication and in order to get to this place time needs to be taken out with the sole purpose of discussing goals, discussing reach, discussing desired results, and learning as much as possible about the company in order to obtain brand loyalty from customers and clients. Brand Loyalty doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice, and if your clients have a choice creating the best possible brand for them is how to keep them coming back again and again.
- Lead Generation That Turns Into Conversions: As a brand begins to build Social Media Followers, and a Social Media Following through all of the various channels you will also begin converting old customers into new customers and give them the ability to share your brand with their friends and family. A great way to ensure that this happens is to start a customer loyalty and referral program where referring friends and family gets them a certain percentage off of their next purchase or, can be paid for referrals as I do with my referral program where I offer friends, and previous clients a 15% referral fee on every referral sent and given that many of my services are re-occurring monthly this means that whomever referred their friend gets a 15% commission monthly no strings attached – they get paid when I get paid. Do not underestimate the power of the Network of your previous and current clients. Even if your click through rates are low with social media postings, the potential of your network to keep growing remains limitless which only leads to more growth, more sales, and more success over time. Failure isn’t an option, and even if you feel like you aren’t gaining a whole lot of traction, time and continuous effort will absolutely show a different story if you give it time and patience.
- Increased Brand Recognition and Authority: Regular interaction with your customers and clients shows reliability to your target market, and your niche. Social Media Management is more-so about Social Media Engagement rather than strict promotions. If the only time you are on Social Media is to promote you aren’t showing reliability, and loyalty to your clients. Engagement leads to leads, and leads lead to conversions. If your business is well branded clients doing a search for you will be able to search across the Social Media Platform channels of their choice for you and find you. Similarly, the more people that are talking about you, and engaging with you the more valuable you become to potential clients, and leads leading those individuals and businesses to type out an email or instant message or, just go the tried and true method of picking up the phone and calling you to begin communication, and negotiations for services. Additionally, interacting with those already seen as industry influencers on Twitter specifically as well as Linkedin will broaden and even skyrocket your reach to others who are already following those individuals and keeping up with them.
- High Traffic: Unlike Metro Atlanta Highways that often lead us to a traffic standstill, increased traffic to your website is a good thing. Social Media Features such as Group Pinterest Boards, Facebook Groups, Google+ Groups, and Linkedin Groups have led Social Media Marketers, and those who manage business Social Media accounts to many realizations regarding traffic. While many for example believe that Pinterest is only good for Recipee’s, home decorating, and Wedding planning, the traffic benefits to websites through pinable content with graphics has shown over the course of the last few years that reach significantly increases (over 400% in many cases) if the content published targets the target market’s wants enough. The higher in quality your content and graphics are the more reach you will find yourself obtaining through Pinterest and Instagram specifically.
- Marketing Budget Decreases: Because Social Media Channels are free to use, businesses do not need to spend nearly as much as they use to on marketing each year. While the methods of marketing have changed over the year, many businesses got use to claiming those expenses on their taxes each year, and yes, that is still doable. While Social Media Management, and any other Internet Marketing service is still a tax deductible expense. The cost of Social Media Management is significantly lower than print advertising in many cases, and you can find a good Social Media Manager who will grow your channels, grow your social media followers, and expand your social media reach at a price that is affordable to you but, the benefits of doing this also open the door to continuing print advertising through old school methods as well. The days of cold calling are over. No one wants to listen, and no amount of sales jargon is going to work. Face to Face engagement, Social Media Engagement, and Print Advertising with coupons, discounts, and promotions are what catches the eyes of your target market so utilize these things across the board, and watch as your ROI increases but, there has to be communication, and engagement between your brand, and your clients in order for new target market customers to open up and feel safe in selecting you.
- Search Engine Ranking Increases: SEO is the hair puller of many startups and small businesses. As a professional that has been working on SEO for over 14 years in addition to building websites, writing content, and doing a whole bunch of other in office things that led me to starting EmBeWrites.com I can confidently say that while I love what I do my industry is always changing and there are about to be some very large changes to how Google specifically ranks your website and blog. Come mid January 2017 there are about to be many changes made that will significantly lower the rankings of many businesses across the country, and quite honestly it’s about time because, many services that we find at the top of our searches are not what we are ultimately looking for, and that comes from someone who does an extensive amount of competitor research and keyword research to see what comes up for my clients. In order to get my clients to the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines I spend an extensive amount of time looking into my clients competitors and looking at what they aren’t doing in order to make my clients the most impressive and valuable service and product providers in their industry. Search Engines are changing, Internet Marketing is changing, Social Media Platforms are changing and in order to be successful at keeping a strong brand you or, your Social Media Manager needs to know what those changes are, and what they entail. The days of just going with the flow are over. Strategy is where ROI of Social Media Management comes from, and if you don’t know where you are going, your Social Media Manager isn’t going to be able to play mind games and read your mind to determine where you are going either.
When you hire a Social Media Manager expecting immediate results is something that many clients unfortunately believe will happen, and have unrealistic expectations about. When you hire a Social Media Manager it is important to know that you need to allow them to start slow. Time to build the strategy, time to create graphics, time to create quality content, time to setup accounts, and platform management packages are all apart of the process, and none of this happens over night. In order to get results you have to know what you want, and in order to achieve success everyone needs to be on the same page without playing guessing games. Think of it as growth. You become a better leader, together you become a better team, and teams or, at least those who can work well together create success and even more growth that leads you out of stagnation, and allows you to spread your wings and fly.
Clients and customers want professionals and brands who are just as loyal to them as they are to you. By providing solutions, and by providing sales, specials, and quality what you are doing is you are setting yourself and your brand up for success. Happy customers and Happy clients lead to great reviews, and further brand promotions. People talk, people share experiences, we live in a social age and when you allow your brand to be discussed in a positive light and encourage engagement as well as join in you are allowing your brand to grow. So, to answer the question what is the ROI on hiring a Social Media Manager? The answer is honestly: Whatever you allow it to be with an open mind, time, and budget. If you aren’t giving your brand time to grow through your Social Media Manager you aren’t understanding how the industry actually works, and you are being greedy and selfish. Yes, you have time and money in this but, growth takes time, patience, and knowledge and sometimes those things are required in order to achieve the results that you are wanting. ROI on Social Media Mangement isn’t about the money, it’s about the quality of the engagement, it’s about the quality in and of your promotions, it’s about customer engagement, follower building, and building customer and client trust that leads to more sales over time. Hiring a Social Media Manager for a month and then firing them because they haven’t reached over a million followers yet says that you had unrealistic expectations from the start. Do you want real results or, do you want fake results that come from paid for followers? I’m not sure about you but, I would much rather have real. I don’t like illusions, and a very large frustration that comes to me frequently is people who expect the world sun moon and stars overnight when that isn’t how organic, and natural growth happens.
As with anything else time, patience, and investment are required. People want to feel wanted, people want to feel needed, people want to feel respected, people want to feel appreciated, people want to feel like their value and worth are noticed, and a good brand and business recognizes those things. So again, what is the ROI of Social Media Management – It’s the fact that when you hire a good Social Media Manager you will find the Social Media Manager that makes people feel the way that they want to feel through brand engagement, communication, care, and quality customer service because, Social Media at the end of the day has very little to do with incoming money but, in all honesty has everything to do with brand awareness, public relations, and brand reputation all through quality and professional engagement that will promote loyalty, and further engagement long into the future.
I don’t know about you but, I’d say that, a good brand reputation is worth the cost of a Social Media Manager. How about you?
If you are in the market for a quality Social Media Manager to grow your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Youtube, and Google+ Channel Followings I’d love to assist you. Please feel free to contact me today, and lets get your Branded and on the right track for growth.