Some of the largest barriers to Social Media are the Return on Investment (ROI) questions that go along with it. One of the biggest misconceptions that I see as a digital marketer, primarily in Social Media and Social Media Advertising is that people still believe that Social Media doesn’t produce a good enough Return on Investment.
What are the ROI questions exactly? How do we generate leads using Social Media? How do we translate fans or followers into paying customers? I’ll do my best to answer these questions in this blog post.
How To Generate Leads Through Social Media?
The first step to generating more leads is to evaluate what your business currently generates from Social Media efforts. Determining ROI on social is difficult, especially if you’re not setting up the proper tracking according so Social Media Examiner. Some of the questions you should ask yourself as a social media manager or internet manger in regards to social are as follows:
- Are we tracking website behavior in Google Analytics from Social Media?
- Are we obtaining calls from Social Media?
- How much foot traffic are we generating from Social Media?
- What are our goals for Social Media?
If you said “No,” or “I Don’t Know,” to any of the above questions, you may be missing some of the leads your business is generating with Social Media.
In order to ensure that all of our campaigns are optimized for lead generation and measuring ROI these are three rules that I follow when I start a new campaign:
- Add UTM Tracking to all your campaigns to more easily track behavior in Google Analytics.
- Utilize Call Forwarding/Tracking software to measure calls specifically from Social Media, and other outlets.
- Use unique offers on Social Media, so that when customers come into the store, or call, your business will know they came from Social Media specifically.
In addition, utilize Facebook tracking to see who your page is reaching, what posts are performing well, and month to month engagement.
Pictured: Post Reach sample from 101 Famous Quotes from Alice In Wonderland Facebook Page.
Social Media is a valuable advertising tool because it allows businesses to connect with their potential customers and determine what they like, and what they don’t like. There’s an opportunity for businesses, one which most of them miss, to cater their advertising to smaller groups of people that are already engaging with their product on their Facebook, Twitter, or other Social Media networks.
Translating Facebook Fans Or Followers Into Paying Customers
“One of the hardest things to do is translate Facebook Fans into paying customers.”
I see and hear this quote or a variation of it all the time. One of the responses I have is this, “How did you acquire your Facebook fans or Twitter followers?” One of the most common problems with having 10,000 fans on Facebook is that most of the fans are not going to purchase anything from your company.
I apologize for the reality check, but if you’re reading this, your ROI is not where you want it to be, so I can guarantee that for one of the following reasons, your business is not going to convert the vast majority of your fans into paying customers.
- You paid for “Fake Likes” during the beginning of Facebook Business Pages.
- You ran a contest. People “Liked” your page to enter, that’s where the relationship ends.
- They’re not close to your location (For businesses that this applies).
- Your posting strategy is focused around getting engagement instead of engaging the users that are worth going after.
If you want to get Facebook Fans that Translate to Paying Customers, go after fans that will buy your product.
Utilize Facebook’s robust ad targeting and reevaluate your posting strategy to focus around your products. I’m not saying you should sell, sell, sell, but your posts should be somewhat related to what you’re trying to sell. The occasional “Pure Engagement” post is okay, but posts should appeal to people who will potentially buy your product. For instance, in the automotive industry, we focus around industry news, content, and media to engage users who find the brand interesting and are looking to buy a new vehicle down the road.
On contesting, I know most people will tell you that it’s a great way to get new fans to like your page, which is true. The more fans you have, the greater probability, you’ll generate more leads is not necessarily true if you use contesting. What digital marketers and advertisers have discovered in the past few years, and Facebook as well, is that people like pages to win the prize, and will never engage with the page again after the initial contesting period ends.
One example of a bad Social Media contest according to Spark Reaction, on a large scale is #EsuranceSave30 promotion a year ago at the Super Bowl. It was widely successful at first, with over 200,000 entries, but what happened after was exactly why Social Media contesting fails.
I apologize for my irrational state of dildos #esurancesave30
— Admiral Polandia (@AdmiralPolandia) March 27, 2016
The Esurance campaign goal was to increase brand awareness, but after a week, Esurance lost over 15% of the 100,000+ followers they gained on Twitter, and users hijacked their hashtag posting offensive material and spam which is always a risk when utilizing a hashtag for campaigns.
See related post: The Greatest Lessons From Epic Social Media Fails 2015
Instead of contesting, my suggestion is to give your customers a product “Test Drive.” Give them a discount on your product or incentive to test it out, for larger purchases. By doing this, your business achieves two objectives:
- You just acquired a new fan and
- This new fan is also a qualified lead because they liked your page to get the product discount/incentive.
Acquiring fans in this manner might be more expensive, but the user knows why he’s like the page, and the business knows the user likes the page because they want to engage with the product.
What Are Your Opinions On Social Media ROI?
Within the past few years, we’ve seen Social Media become a more viable advertising medium for businesses to increase sales and reach more people in their area. In my next post, I will discuss how your business should evaluate what Social networks to utilize for lead generation.
[Main Image: iStockphoto]