Measure the ROI of social media What a bad joke

April 22, 2012
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I got an (unsolicited) e-mail offering a webinar to teach me about how to measure, and the importance of measuring, the ROI of social media.

Total joke — and a bad one at that.

Social media, business social media, is running wild — with or without you. Your customers and prospective customers are posting on Facebook whether you have the balls to have presence there or not.

And I am not just talking to companies: I am talking to you, the individual.

Consider this: Of all the grassroots revolutions that have occurred on social media, none of them were started by companies or governments. They were all started by people — people who were excited, people who were afraid, people who were pissed, and people who wanted change and spoke up. They spoke over CEOs, media, newspapers, government, lobbyists and politicians.

Here’s what they should measure: LRI —otherwise known as Lost Revenue (and goodwill and customer loyalty) of Idiots.

While Macy’s and most other department stores are/were measuring ROI, Zappos is cleaning their clock, delivering value, connecting with and responding to customers one on one, and building a billion-dollar empire in less time than it took Macy’s to expand to a second store 100 years ago.

Webinars on the subject of ROI of social media are likely run by the same people who thought Amazon.com wouldn’t make it. If Bezos measured the ROI at Amazon in the first five years, he would have quit. He accomplished domination while Barnes & Noble was measuring ROI and Borders was going broke.

Amazon now has total market dominance based on leadership, vision and technological excellence. Same with Apple: Microsoft used to laugh at Apple; now its employees all have iPads and iPods at home.

Measure? No: Invest resources in social media without measuring. Now!

It’s way too soon to measure.

Major point of understanding: If they had measured the ROI of television, or the computer, or the automobile, or the telephone, or the Internet after 5 years, nobody would have gotten involved, and we’d be in a technological bog — sinking.

Wake up and smell the opportunity!

People guarding nickels have no idea of the power or the value of business social media, much less social media. They have no idea of the lost opportunity or the lost revenue. They have no idea of the perception and participation of customers.

My bet is people who measure the ROI of social media have never tweeted. Wanna take that bet?

I define these people as the ones who still have a small rubber circle in the middle of their keyboard: completely out of touch with what’s new and trying to prevent the unstoppable force of progress and customers.

Wanna know who else “measured” financial return?

Blockbuster measured online movie services.

BlackBerry measured smart phones.

Microsoft measured music players.

Billion-dollar mis-measurement: Bank of America didn’t measure or understand the power of Facebook. They were greedily measuring increased revenue from debit card customers. Their billion dollar loss paled in comparison to the complete loss of goodwill. I doubt they will recover in a decade.

All of those companies are/were foolish.

There’s one company you want to take its time, measure nickels, rely on lawyers, and stick its big toe in the water before getting involved. That one company is your biggest competitor.

Here’s an easy plan to get rolling in a week or two:

1. Gather the e-mail addresses of everyone in your world.

2. Create a first-class, well tagged with key words, business page on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

3. Start a YouTube channel by inviting your customers to film why they bought from you.

4. Map out a strategy, and goals for engagement, for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

5. Assign someone to monitor, post and respond to all who engage.

6. Create six value-based messages, two each for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

7. Shoot two to three value-based (something your customers could use) videos and post them on YouTube.

8. Invite all of your customers to join you by sending examples of your value messages. I recommend one campaign per media for four weeks, but have links to all in each e-mail.

9. Post something every day on Facebook. Tweet something every day. Link with two to five people every day. Post one video a week.

10. If you really want to create some buzz, convert your contacts to Ace of Sales (www.aceofsales.com) and send e-mails that differentiate yourself from the competition.

10.5 Only listen to your lawyers if they tell you what you CAN do.

Start there. Start now.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s website, www.gitomer.com, has more information about training and seminars, or e-mail him personally at salesman@gitomer.com

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