May 18, 2011

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Golden Rules for Social Media ROI

There’s no doubt social media has become a mainstay in our online lives. Whether it’s through a Facebook fan page, regular YouTube videos, daily blog posts or hourly tweets, chances are you’re aiming to connect with buyers and sellers online. And that takes time.

As social media use becomes less of a novelty and more part of the everyday, it’s likely those who use social media to boost their business will start asking the question: what return am I getting for all this time spent recording, writing, and updating?

If you’re questioning the amount of time you spend using social media, but can’t see yourself going cold turkey any time soon, here are some ideas for ensuring a sound return-on-investment:

Be clear about your goals. What do you want to achieve? Are you aiming to create social capital – to become a trusted member of an online community? Or do you simply need to generate as many leads as possible? Setting clear goals mean you’re much more likely to use social media to your advantage, rather than just sign in for the sake of it.

Beware mixing business with pleasure. Once you’ve decided what your goals are, make an effort to keep your online activity in line with those goals. Twitter accounts are notorious for mundane updates that are highly unlikely to generate leads or social capital, and a blog or a YouTube account can suffer exactly the same fate. If you love using social media as a personal platform, consider creating new accounts for your “at home” persona that hold separate, non-business content.

Monitor your activity to find what works. It’s definitely worth keeping a record of how many hours you spend blogging, tweeting, and scrolling through other people’s content. At the same time, write down what this achieved and look at how close you came to your goals. If you’re falling short, ask others what worked for them, and what simply wasted their time.

Cut out what doesn’t work. With so many online social networks to choose from, it can be easy to stretch yourself thin as you try to maintain a presence across multiple channels. Once you’ve evaluated what works, you can be confident in your decisions to tweet less often, read more blog posts, or only check Facebook a maximum of twice per day.

Bring it into the “real world”. As often as possible, get in touch with the contacts you’ve made through social media in a concrete way. The popularity of “tweet-ups” amongst Twitter users is a perfect example of how social media should spill over into the real world now and then. As always, it’s the people behind the keyboards that matter.


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  5. 10 Social Media Terms, Translated
  6. Can Social Media be Simplified?
  7. Social Media Strategies Webinar on Today
  8. Agent Strategies: A Social Media Combo
  9. How Do You Measure ROI in Blogging?
  10. Challenges and Opportunities on the Social Web