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Business owner says where is my ROI?

Return on investment (ROI) is the call from the manager/ owner of any business when they are asked to invest in Social Media. Fair question really after all they probably already have a website, why do this social stuff as well?

Time for some hard facts:

According to BarnRaisers 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites and 12 million people blog via social networks. They also claim 23 % of internet time is spent on blogs and social networks. Market Sherpa state 70% of us say blogs influence what we buy. Well that is a return right there Market Sherpa shows an example of ZAGG an online retailer stating its return on investment is 172% and a 10% increase in the company’s site traffic. Positive feedback on the wave that is Social Media, but what about links to New Zealand’s big markets?

NZ Heralds Yining Ding reported if NZ business want to reach the more than 500 million users in China, the Social Media site to learn and use is Weibo because Facebook and Twitter are both banned in China . He goes on to report already New Zealand Business is firmly entrenched in its user base he names companies such as Air New Zealand, Fonterra, Massey University and honey-products maker Comvita. Currently according to this  article Air New Zealand China has 143,000 followers and posts updates two or three times a week to a potential Chinese tourism market worth $670 million a year to New Zealand.

Tourism NZ are also listed in Weibo with a steady growing fan base of 245,000. It is noted that in one recent campaign a post attracted 2.16 million viewers. That is half the population of NZ do you think this might be a sales channel worth considering.

vintage social networking

Vintage Social Media is dead long live the new format. So in answering the original question “where is my ROI?” it is in the creation of strong social profile for their organisation. The return on investment is potentialy very good based in current facts, but it important to plan a social  strategy as I have previously posted in To Catch a Social Butterfly.

 

Have a question or something to say leave a comment below.

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Social media map

To catch a Social Butterfly

So you want to have fun, engage in this social stuff catch a few million social butterflies and continue the good reputation of the company? Where do you start? You have a Facebook account right!!

Well according to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) their five points to using media are, choose your Social Media application carefully, there are many Social Media applications and you cannot participate in them all. Choose a Social Media application which is populated by the demographic you are targeting, be active where ever your customers are. Pick an existing application or make you own. For most NZ SMB designing your own application is not a possibility so they will use an application like Facebook or Twitter. The benefits of using an existing application is reduced setup costs and access to their user base. The disadvantage is they can charge you what ever advertising rates they want and you are stuck with their application limits.

Ensure activity alignment. Consider how your products show on Social Media applications, or do you need to use a combination of applications? An example of this is a YouTube video embedded in a Facebook feed. Media plan integration then becomes important. How will this Social Media integrate into your tradition media. Kaplan and Haenlein states integration is the key, your message should be same no matter if on a bill board or on your Facebook page.

Their final point to using media is create access for all. Make sure sure your business employees have access to your Social Media website this will allow them to see what is happening and visualizes the companies direction. Singing from the same score sheet rings in my ears.

Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) also give five hints about being social.

Firstly be active make sure your content is fresh and you answer questions or comments posted by your customers. Participating in open active conversation shows your business listens to its customers. Be interested boring content is not worth reading, relax spice content up gives better engagement. Ask your customer what they want to hear about, then develop content based on this research.

Be humble social media was around before business saw it as a marketing opportunity. Make sure you understand the rules and terms of use of your chosen Social Media application. Play by the rules! Now here is a twist be unprofessional you do not need to employ professional writers and designers. Users do not mind the odd mistake or that a standard theme is used. It the message that is important remember be humble.

Be honest your social reputation can be bruised very quickly, especially if you do not follow the rules, remember your customers using Social Media are technologically capable and talk to each other. Where are you going to hide?

Have a question or something to say leave a comment below.

Kaplan, AM & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world untie! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons 53(1), 59-68.

Social Media Tool Belt

Tools to attract a Social Butterfly

Blogging, Microblogging, Podcasts, Tagging, RSS feeds and Wiki’s are all tools available in the tool belt of businesses wanting to attract social butterflies. Which one to use is really depend upon the strategic marketing plan a business has. Remember the primary functions of social media are the 4 C’s,

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Collaboration
  • Connection

If connecting and communicating to your customers is your goal, blogging or microblogging are the tools of choice. A blog’s main purpose is to allow a business or author to write about topics they are passionate about. Blog tools allow feedback in the form of comments. Comments can be favourable or not, either way this stimulates strong conversation and discussion on blogged content. Several different platforms are available for blogging probably the most popular is Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Blogging has the advantage of forming groups of people with common interests called followers and everyone knows two heads are better than one. Like minded people are more likely to comment and give answers to questions asked within a blogs content.

Microblogging is also aimed at a target audience or followers but is limited to 140 text characters. This limit is due to their delivery mechanism being a simple message service (SMS) gateway as used by mobile phones. The world has many microblogging sites, to name a couple Plurk and probably the most popular Twitter. Products such as Facebook and MySpace also provide a form of microblogging through their status updates.

Communication by blog may be a weekly or monthly posting as information is gather and processed by the author where as a microblog is instant and can be banged out with provocation or without. Several famous actors and singers have sent out Twitter messages (called tweets) without thinking about what they were really meaning to say. The consequence from their fan base has been instant.

For an example the Latin post states “Justin Bieber just tweets, ‘Yeah, Beliebers, go hard’ when they’re attacking somebody,…” Whats up with this dude? This is young man so drunk with fame he forgets his shirt every time a photo is taken and recently was caught with drugs in his home. I suspect his fan respect is being lost in his drug haze. Justin Bieber is a business brand so how did you think this tweet effected his reputation to the parents of his fans? The media love this stuff and are quick to reblog as news. The power of a social network is clear in a case like this.

Business can use microblogging and blogging to communicate new services, products to their fan base. The trick is gaining that fan base in the first place, people who engage in conversation via social networking sites are very aware of their social profiles. The social butterfly is able to be your friend one day and the next not. Justin Bieber who?

Have a question or something to say leave a comment below.