Hardboiled marketers and executives often require you to justify the value of any expense and investment of time. How will it contribute to the bottom line? What’s the ROI of social media?
It’s ironic that these (relatively) new kinds of marketing are often
- held up to high scrutiny
- required to justify the expenses and
- asked to proof the ROI with a numerical accuracy
Other traditional forms of marketing don’t have to face such standards. How many magazine, TV or radio ads actually get measured, other than some inflated eye-ball numbers?
But here’s an example of how even companies that aren’t focused on social media marketing can generate clearly measurable returns with social.
In this case, it was a single tweet that resulted in $585 USD in recurring monthly revenue for us at Close.io, where we offer sales communications platforms to businesses.
How we did it
RelateIQ, one of our competitors, was acquired by Salesforce in June 2014. Whenever tectonic shifts in your market take place, it’s time to pay attention. If you look at it the right way, you will often find opportunities to win new customers.
In this case, what happened is that RelateIQ notified most of their non-US customers that they’d be cancelling their contracts. There were now plenty of companies who would soon need to find a new sales CRM.
So we watched out for tweets from disgruntled RelateIQ restrictions. It didn’t take long for Phil, our Product Lead, to find this tweet.
He and his sales team liked using our sales software, and decided to buy several seats for their sales team. ROI from Phil’s tweet so far: $455 USD in revenue, every single month.
But wait, there’s more!
When you improve sales performance, you notice faster growth and hire new sales reps.
That’s exactly what the Scrapinghub team did – they bought additional seats, increasing monthly recurring revenue to $585.
But there’s even more good that came out of it.
Maybe you’ve heard about ProductHunt – it’s a very hot site that has a lot of buzz in the tech-community nowadays. Endorsements and positive reviews on that site are super valuable if your audience is a tech-savvy crowd. That’s why we were excited to see Gabriel Puliatti from the Scrapinghub team give us a shoutout there too.
All of this as the result of one single tweet Phil sent out.
And quite honestly, we’re not a an advanced social media marketing team. Which is great news for you.
You don’t need a full-time social media team or manager. Like in our case, it was an engineer who spotted the opportunity and tweeted – your existing team members can be the ones to get this started.
Social media has real potential to reach qualified prospects – and this potential is only going to become larger in the future.
Don’t be a dinosaur and miss this train. If you don’t have the resources, or aren’t convinced that it’s worth investing resources into, just dip your toes into this water and take baby steps.
Here’s a simple but effective plan to get you started:
Focus on high-leverage tasks
Ask yourself: what’s the most worthwhile activity I can engage in with the minimum investment of time and money?
Allocate 10 minutes a day to doing this
Commit just 10 minutes to listening to your audience every day, and schedule that into your calendar. Learn where you can position your company seamlessly into an online conversation.
Start listening on Twitter
Do a search for your competitor name, or if your competitor name is showing up too often, refine your search using one of the many parameters available (e.g. by using the “any of these words” search field, so that only tweets that contain both your competitorname and the word ‘alternative’ or ‘replacement’ get displayed).
If you want to take this to the next level, use a social listening tool such as Mention.com, which allows you to automate and expand your monitoring.
Keep it simple
The key is to focus on what’s simple and effective, and doesn’t take up a lot of time in the beginning. Too many businesses are overcomplicating things, and it takes them too long to get started.
Just follow this simple blueprint in the beginning – once you see results, you can always scale up your social media marketing efforts.
Sales is oxygen for your business
Your business needs to make sales to survive and thrive.
I still believe that most people waste too much time on social media, because it has an addictive quality. It’s so easy to stumble into something interesting and engaging, and three hours later you’re blinking and wondering: hey, what just happened? What did I do with my day?
But that’s not a reason to ignore social – it’s just a reason to engage in it in an outcome-focused way, with a clear, specific objective in mind.
You don’t need to attribute a certain dollar amount to every single tweet. There actually is value in non-tangible relationship building. Like my friend Gary Vaynerchuk likes to say, you should jab, jab, jab… right hook! But do have a way to gauge the overall value of your investment in social.