Many of our digital tips so far have focused on the use of various social media channels – whether you should be using them or not, what sort of content is effective, what sorts of audiences are there, etc. We certainly aren’t the only ones writing about best practices in social media. In fact, one would be hard-pressed, with even a minimal amount of searching, not to find a vast pantheon of gurus offering the latest ten-things-you-must-(or mustn’t)- do-today-on-social-media-to-drive-business. The thing is, if it was easy and everyone hit a homerun every time they posted content, there would be no need for the gurus. My point? Social media marketing is not as push-button easy as it seems. And it certainly isn’t free. Not only must time be dedicated, mistakes can also be costly.
To complicate things even more, it is challenging to determine what effect social media marketing efforts do have on other aspects of your marketing plan. The final reckoning for any marketing investment used to be ROI – Return on Investment – but now, there’s such a thing as ROR – Return on Relationship – which, according to its creator Ted Rubin, is “the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations and sharing.” So, instead of determining that our efforts in social media were a bust because we didn’t see a direct financial effect, we are supposed to apply a much more ambiguous measure of success, one that ultimately may not be manifest for years to come. But then how do we know that we’ve won? Well, that really is the question, and there isn’t either an easy answer, or a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why we feel it is so important to have good consultation for your social and content marketing strategy. A good consultant can help you to ask the right questions, and focus in on the areas which will likely most have an impact on building a loyal base of advocates for your business. Even though there may not be an immediate return on social media marketing, investment starts from the beginning, and no investment should be made on a whim.
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