For many businesses, social media is just a black hole, a virtual money pit, unless there is a strategy behind it that drives web traffic and lead generation.
It's a money pit because every hour you invest in it is money out the window unless you are seeing an equal, or larger, return than the cost.
Before you say, "But social media is free! It doesn't cost me anything!" consider this: Let's pretend you spend 2 hours on social networking sites over the course of the average day, and that your bill rate is $50/hour. You are losing $100 per day by not producing client work. In 2 work weeks you've spent 20 hours and $1,000 has gone out the window.
Maybe you try to justify it by saying, "Well, it's marketing time." It would be, if you were seeing at least $1,000 - and hopefully much more - coming back at you as a result of the time spent. But if you're not, you're just another bright, shiny object spinning around in the middle of the vortex.
Your social media success isn’t about the number of followers you have. Any business with a credit card can buy followers. It doesn’t matter how many people “like” a post or retweet anything you say.
The real measure of success of your social media efforts is the effect it has on your website ranking, which is fed by traffic on the site, and traffic on the site comes from developing a business strategy based on research, and continual monitoring and tweaking.
Do you know your numbers?
- How many hours are you putting into social media each week, and what does that cost you in terms of lost revenue? (if you don't know, track it for a week)
- What percentage of your site visitors are coming from each social media outlet?
- What percentage of site visitors convert into clients or customers?
- Does the income equal or exceed the outlay?
Over the course of several months, you will be able to gauge the exchange. If it's in your favor - great. If it's not, it's time to consider a strategic social media marketing plan.