Social Media. It’s known for viral videos, meeting new people, fake news, trending topics, hilarious memes and loss of time spent scrolling through the feed to see what everyone is talking about. But what about business and social media? Is this just a waste of time? A waste of money? A waste of energy and resources? If you are still wondering the answers to these questions, the answer is an absolute NO.
If your business is not taking advantage of the thousands of potential clients and loyal fans on social media, it is a tragic loss on both sides. For a businesses, this could be a loss of hundreds of sales totally thousands of dollars in services and products. For the consumer, it could be a loss of that perfect product or service they have been searching for the past several weeks or months.
Now, let’s just get real. Whether a business takes the social media plunge or not isn’t just about the time it takes. Let’s discuss what is on everyone’s mind. Is there really an ROI? Or before even going there, maybe we should answer this: ‘What’ is ROI for a business using social media? This is where a lot of people get lost.
Take a moment and ask yourself this question: “What makes something an ROI?” What needs to be understood by entrepreneurs is that social media is a whole different ‘game’ on a whole different level. As Gary Vaynerchuk has said when asked this question, “What is the ROI of your mother?” (And if you don’t know who Gary V is, google him. He is a brilliant social media / marketing genius.)
We live in a microwave society that just keeps spinning faster and faster. Everyone wants fast food results…then enters social media. With social media, you cannot just look for immediate, overnight sensations. You have to change your mindset and plan to a longterm solution. And here’s the thing that is so fantastic about this.
Most companies and brands are not on this page just yet…there is a percentage that has jumped onboard, though far from the majority. What makes this so great? Your business has the edge…the opportunity to be one of the elite…a step ahead of the rest. How is this so? Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you have a Facebook page that isn’t really monitored very often. You created it so that you can say you have one and that’s about it. So, in the meantime, someone finds your business page and has a question and no one responds. What a missed opportunity. What may have happened if you had someone managing this page for you?
Well, in taking the time to respond to this, the person, who wasn’t a customer yet, may have became a customer. And then what if they shared the post on their page and your business was seen by his thousands of their friends? Well guess what? That second option is a true story and really did happen. So not only did the business get a sale from listening and being present and creating a relationship, they also got word of mouth advertising.
So we can grasp the impact of word-of-mouth marketing and social media even further, let’s take a look at a few staggering statistics:
- A large majority (more than 80%) of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind.
- 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.
- 67% say they’re at least a little more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shared if via social media or email.
- 92% of 18-34 year olds say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a product to purchase which is 10% greater than the general population.
- 86% with a household income of more than $100,000 seek recommendations when considering a purchase. – Business2Community
If you didn’t believe word-of-mouth marketing was alive and well before, you should most definitely believe it now!
As you begin to take advantage of social media for what it can do for your business, in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, you will have established yourself as the authority in your industry, you will have grown your following, established relationships, created raving fans and have loyal clients and customers who are telling their friends – who are telling their friends – and so on…and so on. It literally becomes a snowball fest.
Answering questions, whether you feel they are important or not, customer service support, creating a buzz and unleashing something that is so underutilized – the power of word of mouth – goes a long way. There is such power in this strategy yet it cannot be measured immediately. The power of ROI in relationships can tragically be easily overlooked.
By looking at only monetary you are missing out on potential sales and long term success in your company. This is what social media managers and influencers call a long term strategy. – Award Winning Social Media Strategist, Rachel Pedersen
Here’s another way to think of it….What is the ROI of a relationship? What is the value to you and your company of a lifetime client or customer? If you can answer this question then you will be able to do some calculations. Building relationships, connecting with your market, getting to REALLY know your customers and clients…that is a long term strategy.
Not responding to comments – even simple ones – are lost opportunities. People want answers. They want to know there is a relationship you are working on. They want engagement, they want to be noticed. – Award Winning Social Media Strategist, Rachel Pedersen
Have you heard of the marshmallow experiment done by Stanford University? This was done some time around the late 60’s, early 70’s. A child was offered a choice between one marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows if they would wait just a short period of 15 minutes. Some of the kids chose to eat the one marshmallow and not wait, others chose to wait the 15 minutes so they could have two.
Later, when following up, researchers found that the children who were able to wait longer for the better reward were often found to have better outcomes in life, higher SAT scores, better body mass and other measures in life were exceeded as well. There is something that can be said about delayed gratitude.
So, which do you choose? The immediate sale or long term relationship? It all comes down to this: The business who is in it for the long term will last longer than those fighting for the immediate sale.
Other mind-blowing, fascinating statistics
- More than 50 percent of marketers who have been implementing social media marketing tactics for two years have reported improved sales.
- More than 1 in 3 Internet users say they go to social networks when looking for more information about a brand or product.
- 8 percent of social media marketers worldwide said Facebook produced the best ROI.
- 53 percent of users say they bought a product they first saw on Twitter.
- 81 percent of users say that Twitter impacts their purchasing decisions more than TV.
- 73% of active pinners—and 89 percent of daily pinners—have bought something new they discovered on Pinterest.
- 60 percent of active pinners are likely to search and browse on Pinterest than browse catalogs.
- About half of the active pinners who have noticed promoted pins on Pinterest have clicked on them to get more information. More than 40 percent have made a purchase, suggesting promoted pins inspire future action.
- 68 percent of Instagram users engage with brands regularly.
- Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook.
- 50 percent of Instagram users follow a business.
- 60 percent of Instagram users say that they learn about a product or service on the platform.
- 75 percent of Instagram users take action after being inspired by a post.
Social media will not make your business an overnight sensation, and for those that may go viral, that is an extremely small percent and not the norm. However, think of it this way.
Each time you post you are creating interest, showing your authority, and that in return is creating longterm value. Most companies are fighting for that immediate sale…the immediate result because they want to see results overnight. Remember, right now there is less competition for the longterm strategy which makes this a perfect time to start.
When others are finally on board, you will have a head start and will already be feeling the snowball effect from all of your effort.