How Can Small Business Justify Social Media?

ROI – it’s the battle social media fights every day. What is the
value of a tweet? What about a fan? Is a retweet worth more than a
reply? Is a comment on a photo better than a like on a status? There
is no simple answer to any of these questions. However, you have to
be able to justify why you’re using social media in order for it to
be effective. There are three pieces of the social media
justification puzzle:

Numbers:

Obviously, one of the simplest parts of social
media to judge is your numbers. When they are going up, you’re doing

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well. If they are staying stagnant, you need to do something
different. But, what if some numbers are going up and some are
staying stagnant? Which numbers are the most important? In my
experience, engagement numbers are more important than follower or
fan count any day of the week. Thousands of fans and followers are
worthless without replies, comments, retweets and sharing! Of
course, we all want both, but I will take passionate followers over
thousands of people who never reply to anything…

Time spent:

This is a tough one. You can’t get success
out of social media without putting in some real time and
commitment. But there is such thing as wasted time and too much
time. You can easily get lost into social media without getting
anything happening and it turns into wasted time. You can also get
lost in it where you’re just spending too much time in there. Even
if you’re getting results, sometimes it is important to get other
things done too!

Results:

Of course, at the end of the day, even if the
numbers are there and the time spent is fair, if the results fail
to impress then what’s the point? There has to be some form of

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concrete results (tracking clicks, measuring engagement, increasing
profits) and these all have to be measured. If you can’t measure
these, then there is no evidence of what is working. But, before you
get frustrated about your results, you need to understand that
results will vary by your products, time and offerings. It is much
easier to get conversation going when you’re a local restaurant or
product that already is known than it is if you’re a plumber or sell
to a very niche market. It doesn’t mean it can’t work, it just means
it takes more time and effort to get things going.

The shortened version is: Social media is justifiable if, at the end
of the day, you feel what you’re doing is improving your
communication with potential customers, increasing the number of people you’re
reaching, and that it will have long term results.


Kirsten Wright is the owner of web design and small business branding firm Wright Creativity. Read Kirsten Wright’s full PubCon speaker biography here.

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