The topic of social media and ROI will never go away and that is a good thing. Any marketing effort for your business needs be tracked and measured, whether it’s a billboard, TV spot or price cut. The problem with social media is that the results are not so cut and dry and old school media metrics can’t really be applied to this constantly evolving channel. To just view social media as a marketing channel is selling it short of its full potential.
Social media can support so many different functions for your business that it is hard to lump all the benefits together and compare it to the money and time spent. Reports over the last several months have even tried to peg the dollar value of a “Fan” on a social network from $3.60 to $136.38. Calculating an exact ROI to social media will never be possible with all the different ways it can affect your business. Here are 13 things that social media can do for your brand:
- Product Development – By monitoring social networks for people talking about your product, you can discover new uses for existing products or learn about needs your product isn’t fulfilling.
- Customer Service – In no other channel can you have such quick and easy 1-to-1 access with your customers to help solve their issues, no matter where they are or what time of day it is.
- Create Buzz – If you are putting out quality content to users they will reward you by spreading your message organically across their own social networks.
- Build Content – Content is king in social media and a passionate social media fan base can help you with this by sharing their own pictures, videos, and stories that involve your brand.
- Focus Group – No need to sit behind a two-way mirror Mad Men style and listen to a group of consumers talk about your products. Today you can ask your social media followers for their opinions on products or just monitor across the web to get unsolicited feedback.
- Advertising – Users love showing their affinity for brands whether it is part of their profile images, background, joining your brand page or constant mention in their status updates.
- Public Relations – You can no longer wait for lengthy press releases or news conferences to deal with PR disasters. By leveraging social media you can get responses out faster than ever and deal with issues before they get out of control.
- Establish Authority – By sharing quality content and educating followers, social media can help you become an industry-leading source for information.
- Beta Testers – Where can you go to find passionate and knowledgeable people to test your new products? Your social media fan base is the perfect place.
- Copy Writing – By scanning the social web for mentions and discussions of your brand, you can see how consumers actually talk about your products and discover a new tone and style that was not considered before.
- Consumer Research – As people spend more time on social networks, they are sharing more information about themselves and what they like. You can dive deeper into your current user base or identify untapped markets.
- Sales – While you shouldn’t get into social media with just sales in mind, you are crazy to think users aren’t influenced to buy in someway by what they see and hear on social networks. Users might not come to social networks with buying in mind like they do when they Google something, but everything your brand does in social media can help lead to a sale.
What are some other benefits you think social media can have for your brand not mentioned here?