If you're feeling frustrated with the lack of results for the amount of time and energy you spend on social media, you're not alone. According to GetResponse, social media, along with mobile ads and email marketing are the priority for their digital marketing spend this year. 59 percent of SMBs said marketing on social media platforms like as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will be the primary spending focus.
Generating revenue from social media.
If you're interested in 3-steps that will generate revenue and improve your social media return on investment, then ask your self this simple question...
Question: "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Answer: "Of course it does, but nobody was there. So, nobody cares!"
Now, apply this logic to your social media strategy. Does anyone really care what your business has to say if they can't hear what your business has to say? You may think so based on the number of people who "like" or "follow" your page but new data confirms a sobering reality.
What's reach and why is it important?
Recent studies conducted on Facebook performance show your actual "reach" to be as little as 2% of your Facebook audience (people who like or follow of your page). Reach is important because it's the number of people who actually see your posts in their personal newsfeeds.
Here's some engaging social media math.
For every 1,000 followers you have on your Facebook page, only 20 people might have your post un their feed. That number is even lower when you consider how many people look through their entire feed and actually see your post!
That's because Facebook and other social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn deliver posted content into personal newsfeeds based on "engagement" algorithms. Engagement is measured by the number of shares, comments, and tags the post receives versus the total number of followers. This metric is commonly used in social media algorithms to judge the quality of the content.
At the end of the day, the large social media platforms are in the business of making money. If subscribers aren't engaged with the content on their platforms, they can't deliver ads and they don't make money. The 2017 Social Media Benchmark Report shows the average Facebook engagement rate per post at only 0.17%! This means that for every 1,000 followers of a page, less than 2 people will comment on, or more importantly, share your content.
As Mark Zuckerberg said to Orrin Hatch when asked how they make money, he paused, seemingly perplexed by the naivety of the question and said, "Senator, we run ads".
Now that you know how social media companies make money, the question remains, how do you make money from social media. The answer is in an acronym, we cleverly call GEMROI for Growth, Engagement, Monetization, and Return on Investment!
Here's 3 steps to realizing your social media ROI goals.
1. Grow Your Reach.
First things first. Before you can effectively engage an audience, you have to have an audience of fans. The more people you have following your brand on social media, the larger your potential organic (unpaid) reach is. You can extend this reach at any time by "boosting" your posts. Boosting is paying to have your post visible in more people's newsfeeds.
There are several options for boosting your posts. You can pay to reach the entire base of your current followers or target a new audience based on demographic, geographic, or behavioral characteristics. This is a great opportunity to ensure you're reaching the right audience to attract potential prospects for the products and service you sell. Just because you have followers, doesn't necessarily mean you have the right followers. This is where having detailed "ideal customer personas" make a huge difference.
When people find your social media content educational, informative, or entertaining, they're more likely to start following your brand, become fans, and engage with your content.
2. Engage Your fans.
So now that you have people in your forest to hear the tree fall, you need to get them talking about it? Think about creating content that's so helpful that people feel compelled to share it with their friends, family, or co-workers. "Likes" are positive signs of affirmation but "likes" don't equal engagement. Interaction with your content is engagement. This means they have to post comments or share your post to really be engaged.
One way to engage your fans is by simply answering the questions your competitors seem to avoid. This will also help you earn their trust and increase their likelihood to become influencers (people who regularly share your content) and evangelists (people who talk positively about your brand in their own posts). Additionally, quizzes, polls, or posts that ask questions are another great way to engage your followers in the conversation.
Don't forget to use "thumb stopping" images. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images and Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. Thumb stoppers are images that get someone's attention quickly as their scrolling through their feed. Pick your images carefully because you have less than one second to compel them to stop and read your post.
Video is an even better way to engage your audience. Video is entertaining and easier than reading. Here's a couple of important facts about video. First, 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to actually take the time to read about it. Second, 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Keep the videos short (under 5 minutes) and include text and graphics to help tell the story.
The good news is your engaged fans are more likely to become your key influencers. They will share your content and influence others to action by silently advocating for your company. The more influencers you have, the faster you'll grow your fan base and increase referrals business.
Posting to social media platforms without an engaged audience is simply a waste of time and marketing resources! It's literally the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it.
3. Monetize for ROI
Ultimately, you want to turn your social media fans into customers and realize a positive ROI from your social media investment. Be patient and exercise discipline while growing and engaging your audience. You need to build trust and trust takes time. Don't try to take your followers straight from the like button to the cash register.
In order to monetize your growing fan base, you'll need to start using some of your posts to get them on your website, a landing page, or a native social media lead forms to exchange their contact information for something of value like "premium content". This can be anything from an offer, a preparation checklist, an e-book, a worksheet or calculator, or even a registration for a webinar.
Remember, people spend time on social media for themselves, not for you. Resist the urge to use your social media page to discuss politics, brag about your product, or post pictures of your salespeople celebrating at an elaborate awards banquet. Look at what you're posting the consumer's point of view. If you want to engage with them in their personal newsfeeds, you need to be respectful.