Let’s begin by defining FOMO for those not in the know; FOMO is an acronym for “Fear of Missing Out.” We all have FOMO at various times in our lives and, yes, this extends into our professional lives, as well.
As marketers, it is our job to figure out the most cost efficient way to drive qualified leads/sales. Not only do we need to drive qualified leads/sales, but we also have a quantity of leads/sales that we need to produce.
How do we meet the dual goal of driving the right lead/sales volume at the right cost? By measuring and evaluating every marketing dollar spent using key performance indicators (KPI) and return on investment (ROI). Or so we say.
I hear a ton of industry dialogue around social channels. I have read countless articles and blogs that take up varying positions on the value of social media. Some argue that social is the perfect channel to drive sales or for lead generation; others argue that social media is a great tool for branding, PR, and servicing, but not for generating sales or leads.
Others are arguing that social media impact cannot be measured in conventional terms, so we need to stop trying to attach an ROI to our social marketing efforts. However…they still think you should totally be there spending your marketing dollars because, you know, FOMO.
It’s 2015, people. I have to call bullshit on anybody claiming that they cannot measure their social media efforts. It is just not true. So stop saying it.
Here at SME Digital, we have created measurement frameworks for countless clients, successfully connecting the data dots and providing a return on investment for each social media channel. Totally doable, effective, and awesome.
Still With Me?
Now here is the part that is worth paying attention to. I did not say we created measurement frameworks that proved the viability of social media as a cost effective source of leads/sales. We can only teach companies how to effectively measure their efforts. Assessing if those efforts align with their cost and volume goals is up to them.
The problem is that most companies have jumped onto the social media marketing bandwagon because of FOMO. Now that they are on, they don’t want to admit that it may not have been a great idea. But instead of doing the analysis to see the truth through the lens of KPI and ROI, they fall back to “can’t measure”. Why? They fear the dots. And the connections. What if the C-suite decides that social media is not a viable channel for sales or lead generation?
Maybe, Maybe Not
I am not saying that social media is not a viable channel. I think social media absolutely works for the right company, product, and service offering. But I do not believe it works universally for all.
There are many marketers who have really effective social media marketing strategies that drive leads through a funnel into their sales process, where those leads are effectively converted into sales. I have also witnessed very successful product marketing happening on social media.
So, it can work.
Social media is not a wild and beautiful unicorn that can only be witnessed by those pure in spirit. It is also not a marketing channel that everybody else has figured out but you.
You do need a strategy and you do need to be able to measure every facet of your strategic efforts. And when you first get started with actual measurement, you will think you are failing. Failing is okay.
Failing means there is a ton of opportunity to test and measure until you figure it out.
If you continue to measure and iterate, you will find your secret social media success. And, of course, we’re happy to assist in any way. From strategy to measurement, we’re more than happy to show you the unicorn.