One of the biggest stoppers to adopting social media marketing by some businesses is the infamous ROI question. Those businesses who post-pone adoption or stop their social media activity typically do so because in their eyes the ROI they were expecting doesn’t take place.
This is why setting expectations is so important if you’re a social media marketer pitching a client or why understanding what you can expect from social media is important if you’re a business owner getting ready to embark on the social media journey.
Before going any further on the topic, I’d like to point out two problems (that I’ve noticed) to setting the right social media ROI expectations:
- Shocking headlines and false gurus who make it sound like the simple act of a business being on social media will work wonders.
- Social media marketers who pitch their services by promising increased sales in a short amount of time instead of giving a realistic picture of how it really works.
Let me also add, I’m not saying you don’t increase sales with social media, I’m saying that every business will have different results; social media marketing is a process and requires patience. Furthermore, every business sells something different and has a different set of competitors to “battle” with to get in front of their target audience. Also, if you look at any of Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report (dating back to the first report in 2009) you’ll notice the time social media marketers spend on social media and the correlation to the results they get.
Understand Your Resources
If you’re a business owner looking to take care of your own social media activity, who has a typical service or product to sell, understand the long-term commitment you’re about to embark on. Know the time you have at your disposal to ensure a consistent presence, even if this means posting twice a week instead of five times a week.
Sure, you could go viral immediately, who’s to say; but going into it with the knowledge that work and perseverance will get you the results won’t leave you disillusioned or cause you to drop social media altogether 3 or 6 months down the line.
The Results Speak For Themselves
If you’re a social media marketer think about what you promise your clients, because after all the research and time it will take you to learn about your clients’ industry, set up the accounts, get valuable content going out, and manage the engagement; it’s pretty disheartening to not have them renew their contract with you following the 3, 6 or 12-month time frame you initially set up. You could be thinking, who cares about the right expectations, if they get started the results will speak for themselves. Although this can be true, every time you pitch a client like that you risk having them drop you because they wanted more. For you this means a never ending cycle of pitching, learning, setting up, and pitching again.
Long-term Planning and Perseverance are Key
I’m a firm believer in long-term planning and perseverance. Yes, I see those miraculous success business stories online too; but a lot of work happened behind the scenes that none of us hear about. As a business owner or marketer, I’m sure you know about the power of a headline to attract attention. So do you think those who write about the success stories are thinking to tell you truth or shock you with an unbelievable story?
Ask any successful business owner or professional and they’ll all tell you the hard work and dedication that went on before reaching their goal. I’ve asked them and haven’t found one that went viral from one day to the next.
How do you set your social media marketing ROI expectations?