Opinion on Social Media ROI

As BusinessCard2 grows, I’ve been spending much more time speaking with the media and networking events around the country.  This has provided me the opportunity to shed some light on how I perceive the tangibility of social media in moving the needle for your business, as well as feedback from audiences on just how confusing it can all be.  One of the biggest questions I get is, “Should I do it at all?”.

For anyone who is using social networking, the answer to this question is almost always “yes, you should be doing social networking.”  I think that people naturally answer with a YES! is because they want others to either join in their misery or bliss.  The reality is, maintaining a social networking presence, for many, can be a time vampire that provides little or no tangible or intangible return on investment (ROI).

It is a mistaken belief that just because an audience migrates to one place, that means you need to have to be there too.  Before embarking on a social media campaign, the three questions I recommend you ask are: 1) Why do I want to be there?, 2) What can it do for my business?, 3) How will I determine/calculate if it really matters?

I am and have been convinced for the better part of five years that social networking is only tapped for ROI by a select group of people and companies.  Typically those who are successful have invested time in understanding how social media works and how they will successfully use it, as well as investment of financial resources to see successful implementation of that planning.

At the end of the day, the 1-2 hours spent maintaining a social presence is 1-2 hours taken away from another part of your life.  It is time you will never get back.  Social networking can be a novelty where not all experience windfall.  It needs to be carefully thought out, attempted, and scaled back if it can’t be measured.   Note: Reality Digital is helping calculate social media ROI.

So let me be clear, so their is no uncertainty in my opinion: social media can be one part of overall marketing tactics and a vehicle for integrated marketing communications, but it is not always a worthwhile trade-off of your time in resources unless expectations can be realized.

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