The number of people who regularly use various social media channels has grown dramatically over the last 5 years, and in turn businesses are using these channels to build relationships with prospective customers all of the time. It is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to gain exposure and to strengthen your business’s reputation – so what’s the catch?
ROI problems: a new definition?
Measuring return on investment (ROI) is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face. Traditionally with any marketing campaign, the break-even point is calculated (number of sales needed to make to cover the cost of the marketing), and then the actual profit made on top of that is tallied up as ROI.
Back in June 2017, Smart Insights (a blog about all things digital marketing) admitted that new research from the DMA shows that only 48% of marketers agreed with the statement that social media gives them any return on investment.
Now while this may appear as an alarming percentage at first – especially considering how widespread social media marketing is – in fact, it’s quite understandable. Social media endeavors help to raise awareness online, and the ROI is sometimes not measured in sales, but rather in the growth of certain social channels. Even with all the analytics software out there on the market, social media doesn’t really offer you a solid method for tracking results like you have with other offline advertising platforms.
“We believe that traditional ROI measurement is not adapted to social media, which should probably be focused more on people, not dollars.”
Most social media marketing campaigns aren’t aimed at a specific person with the goal of requesting a specific response. Unlike social media advertising, offline methods like direct marketing enable businesses to target a particular demographic with a personalized message. Mass media marketing on social channels can also struggle to target specific demographics, so as a result, much of a budget can be wasted.
What this means: a complimentary effort
Social media may have transformed the way we do business but it hasn’t replaced other forms of marketing altogether, and brands should NOT be abandoning or decreasing their traditional marketing practices on offline channels. Instead, companies need to utilize both these channels in tandem as a great tool for raising brand awareness, engagement and increasing sales.
We believe that social media marketing is about getting involved in communities where people from all walks of life are interested in your product or service – and more often that not is where a huge chunk of your customers are located. While some may be ready to buy, many more are still in the research / info gathering stage, and providing them with the information they need to make better decisions while subtly communicating your USPs is what your role as a social media influencer is all about.
Social media should never be utilized as a standalone instrument – but there is great reward for brands using it as a hugely supplementary instrument. We believe that it will not replace offline marketing, but it can help integrate your overall brand message immensely. Again, online efforts need to coincide with an extensive variety of other brand-building processes that positively augment how consumers perceive the brand.
Small firms using social media need to set objectives, plan their approach and make sure it merges with their overall marketing strategy.
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