Measuring The Effectiveness Of Social Media…
….is not and will never be easy. Determining how your time or financial investment is paying off isn’t black and white. Short of a sale where you’re informed you were found on a social site or a social media post prompted the sale or call, you may never know how your social media activity impacts the bottom line. (I won’t say ‘if’ as I know it does when done right).
But what if we look at how we measure social media success based on its core role – community and relationship building –
rather than as a sales channel? We’d have to focus on what best builds those relationships and that community – personality and fun. Who really wants to start a friendship with Oscar The Grouch or the grumpy old neighbor? We gravitate to those who are upbeat, engaged, inviting, friendly and fun.
Fun, actually how much fun you’re having, it would seem, might be a great way to determine the successfulness of your social media efforts.
How much ‘Fun’ you’re having might be the best measure of ROI for your social efforts.
So Are You Having Fun?
Psst! I am. You can see just how much at the end of this post!
Too many small businesses owners see social media as a chore – a must do activity – instead of a ‘want to do activity’. I think we’re flooded with everything we should be doing that social is no longer natural, no longer fun. It’s forced. That further overwhelms us and increases our resolve not to do it or reinforces our lack of enjoyment in doing it. As a result, we outsource all of it. Either way, the real value of social media is lost.
If you feel forced to post or engage, it will show through. It’s as easy to see as when talking face to face with someone in a bad mood. Our emotions do show in our posts and responses. That certainly won’t help you build or maintain relationships.
Outsourcing? I’m not against all outsourcing of social activity but you have to admit paying someone to engage and build relationships on your behalf isn’t really authentic. Remember the movie scene where the boy recites a poem to the girl in the window? She thinks it’s coming from his heart when in reality he was simply saying what his friend hiding in the bushes told him to say. At some point, the truth always comes out and you’re sure to lose more than you gained.
Paying someone to engage and build relationships on your behalf isn’t authentic.
So how do you have more fun?
Change The Way You Approach Social Media
Easier if you’re just getting started but if you’re already at that ‘overwhelmed’ point, slow down and regroup.
Frame your social activity the way you would approach joining a new networking group. Most of us feel intimidated, uncomfortable, out-of-place when showing up the first time. We tend to be quiet and reserved. We listen and watch. We’ll introduce ourselves and we’ll do the 60-second infomercial, our elevator speech, but usually it’s stressed or unnatural.
Over time we start to see the ‘flow’ of how the group works. We warm up to others and they to us. We begin to relax. We start more conversations. We’re quick to jump in, to introduce ourselves. Over time we grow more comfortable, our elevator speeches (by the way I hate this term since it makes them seem so rehearsed and mechanical – something opposite of what they should be for real impact) become more animated and natural.
After a few weeks or months (in case you’re more introverted and need that time), we’re quick to introduce ourselves to new guests and to start conversations. We start having fun.
What changed? We’re now among friends. We’re more comfortable with our surroundings, in terms of how things work and the people around us. We’re relaxed. Our actions are natural and genuine. We now truly like what we’re doing.
Case in point: I remained involved in a group in AZ for several years, including after I closed my business because I was able to have breakfast with my friends! I measured the ROI of the membership cost on what I personally got out of the group. Since good relationships are priceless, I think I made out pretty well!
If you approach social media in the same way, you’ll see social as not simply a tool you need to use, but one you enjoy using. The ROI is not solely about dollars and cents, but something more intangible and infinitely more valuable.
Oh. I almost forgot!
I love my time spent online, especially Twitter. I’ve built some great relationships which are priceless in and of themselves. I also know, over time, those relationships will lead to opportunities and ultimately increased revenue. It simply starts with being social and having fun.
If you’re on Twitter, follow me at @rnissenbaum.