It’s getting to be that time of year again! Preparations for SXSW are kicking into high gear. The weather here in the Northeast promises to get cooler and the Salmon are swimming upstream. This is my favorite time of year. The web comes alive with activity, the streams boil with rising trout and my travel schedule kicks into high gear. This year I have suggested a panel for SXSW (South by Southwest) that I need all of you to go over to and vote for right NOW!
The panel is called Prove it, Social Media ROI for Business and includes a diverse panel of distinguished and talented individuals including Alan Isfan, Amber Naslund, Jason Falls, Justin Levy, and Susan Murphy. I am going to lead this group and YOU folks into what promises to be a very lively discussion on ROI and why it is necessary as a form of traditional measurement in the social media space. Our group has decided to put together a few blog posts (Links Below) as a teaser to get your mouth watering and your brains out of the late summer slump.
My Two Rules of ROI
When it comes to Social Media ROI I am going to give you two things that you can follow as law when putting together your social media outreach program. The first is based in philosophy while the second is rooted in practicality.
Build the Framework.
One of my most common pieces of advice to traditional and new business getting involved in social media is to build a framework of measurement that is important to you (Objectives) and then bury them under the sand. See, the business objectives and ROI (Return on Investment) are what is going to sustain you as a company, but if you lead with these in social spaces, you wont have to worry about any black ink in your balance sheet!
Step One in this process is to generate a list of measurable objectives. That might be a 10% increase in sales over the next two months or a 50% boost in downloads from your modestly priced e-book. The conundrum often lies in the “HOW”? and I know what your asking.
How do I reach my goals and Objectives if i don’t lead with them?
My question to you is, “Does anyone like a pushy car salesman?”
The fact is that no one likes a pushy salesman and the social media and web spaces are even more sensitive to those that spend their days tooting their own horns! My next post will cover some of the ethical outreach practices that you can use to connect with folks that would be happy to boost your sales or download your e-book. The two lessons that I want you to take away from this is are:
1. You MUST create a set of measurable objectives if you want to sustain business!
2. Never lead with objectives chasing people down like a used car salesman!
Tie Social Indicators back to the Boardroom
I spoke recently at Social Fresh in Charlotte North Carolina with an extremely talented pool of speakers. One of these was Olivier Blanchard aka The BrandBuilder. We are going to use one of his slides to help us make our point here about Social Indicators.
So your working in the social media space and your boss has asked you to prove your worth. You lead by saying your twitter followers are growing like a weed and your blog is experiencing massive increases in traffic. You second that by telling him that your google page rank has gone up a point in the last two months and tons of folks are leaving comments. These things all sound great and to the social media manage or community guru they might sound like great results, but until your boss can exchange twitter followers for cash at the local bank your results mean nothing, or do they?
Above you are seeing a massive list of Leading Social Indicators. These are many of the things that excite us as social media renegades, but that fall quite short in boardroom presentations. Take these indicators one step further and relate these back to the goals and objectives of your business.
In the simple Graphic Above you can see that to measure only the red is falling short, but by digging just a bit deeper and working internally with the teams in finance and sales you have the ability to quantify your work in the social space.
This is just scraping the surface of the discussion on ROI and what we will be discussing at SXSW. Again, if you feel this session would add value to the growth and maturity of your business please vote.