Busting The Myth On Social Media ROI


Gretchen Fox

April 29, 2016

If you have any doubt that social media is an absolute goldmine primed to be picked out of the ether like an apple off a tree, you need to invest the two or three minutes it will take to read this post.

The first thing you must realize is the notion that social doesn’t drive serious business impact and, let’s be clear, revenue-specific impact, is perpetuated by an industry rife with self-described gurus and smoke-and-mirror impostors who’ve never had to demonstrate ROI.

Stop listening to anyone who tells you that social media can’t generate revenue. What those people are really telling you is that they simply don’t know how.

It’s not rocket science. It’s social science — and there is an absolute, surefire, step-by-step path to success.

While most companies still haven’t figured it out yet, if you take just a quick look around, you’ll notice almost every big brand is investing heavily in social, with teams of 30-40 full-time employees, multiple agencies, millions in social ads, and technology dedicated to social. Why? Because they already know it’s a goldmine.

If you’re not using social media to drive revenue, not only are you missing out on money, you’re risking the entire future of your business. Before you know what’s happened, your competition can swoop in and, in a very short time, take what you’ve spent years building. Just ask the entire taxicab industry.

Look, as someone who got in on the ground floor (I ran first-time social programs for some of the biggest sports properties in the world), I’ll admit that, it did take a lot longer than expected for social to become a selling force. But today, money is flowing through social/digital channels in the Billions, with a capital B.

It took social professionals a while to figure out the social sales funnel. People are in a different mindset when they are on social media; it’s not the same as when they’re browsing Amazon with a credit card in hand. We had to learn how to meet people in all their times of need and move them along step-by-step, one small low-barrier action at a time.

It’s a process. It’s a science. And it’s an art.

It’s different than the traditional marketing funnel. And it must be customized for each business, which makes it a little tricky until you have experience being able to work (and test) at scale. It’s in volume that you are able to really see the behavior patterns across platforms, people and industries.

But now, we have arrived at the time and place where truly anyone and any company can find the perfect audience, create a social sales funnel and convert prospects into a steady stream of new customers who will go on to become loyal advocates for the brand. All trackable. And all self-serve.

Let that sink in for a minute. It has never been easier to find and convert an audience.

Not only that, but you can start small and grow with your success, without big upfront costs. No big team, no big ad budgets. Just small tests to get it right and then optimize and increase spending in correlation with increased revenue. It’s a no-brainer, right?

So why isn’t every single company dropping everything to get their piece of the goldmine? Five reasons:

1. Laziness

2. Lack of vision

3. Lack of immediate pain (It’s unfortunate but people tend to wait until they get the three-months-to-live notice before they get busy living)

4. Lack of digital expertise

5. Fear

Let’s talk about the last one. Fear is a difficult state of mind to admit. But before you put up your “not me” defense mechanisms, let me describe what I see over and over with both agency clients and entrepreneurs in our e-coaching course.

There’s this fear that paralyzes people from jumping in feet first. It’s like they get stuck in a mental loop of uncertainty. All the while, time passes and other peopleare driving billions of dollars in revenue online. It’s shocking to see and sad to watch people pass up their opportunities day-by-day.

In the music industry, I saw it play out with the most severity: the enormous disparity between the artists who jumped into the world of social with gusto (I see you Taylor Swift) and are owning this new digital world vs. the ones who dug in their heels, afraid of the changes watching their careers wash-up before their very eyes. (I won’t name names, that would just be rude.)

The lesson of this anecdote: Don’t be in the last camp! Don’t watch the world pass you by.

The stats are available and are, frankly, impossible to ignore.

It’s not like you have to jump off the ledge without a parachute, you can just dip your toe in the water, test and try without big risks. Like I said before, everything is trackable.

Don’t let fear keep you from this powerful world where you can reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. Where you can build your brand from scratch, in a matter of weeks. Where you can find your target audience no matter how niche they are. Where you can give them exactly what they need to influence their purchase decisions. Where you can connect, convert, and engage, over and over again.

What exactly are you waiting for? An invitation? Well, from me to you, come on over, the water is warm and the sun is shining.

This article was written by Gretchen Fox from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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