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The Value of Social Media: Where's the ROI?

October 20, 2018


Though marketers have been exploiting social media for years now, many business owners hesitate to throw themselves headfirst into a sea of platforms. 


It's understandable. For many people, business success through social media is something anecdotal at best. A restaurant drums up business through clever Instagram posts. A mom and pop store sees a boost in sales after an influencer mentions them in a video. A nonprofit sells out of tickets for a special event with a whacky promotional video.


Without hard numbers, the benefits of social media are intangible, and a coveted ROI is elusive.


So, why should any business throw time and effort into social media when traditional marketing techniques seem to perform just fine? 


Social Media Marketing: Where the Money Comes From


There are plenty of ways social media can generate both dollars and value, especially for small businesses looking to get ahead. 


Targeted Ads

Social ads grant a clear answer to the ROI question. With today's tracking capabilities, you can easily see who clicked on ads and then made a purchase. And with remarketing campaigns, you can even target those folks who didn't finish their orders the first time around. 


That makes ads a powerful force—one that's easy to justify, provided your tracking is properly set up. 


Constant Engagement

If you regularly pay for newspaper ads or billboards, you're familiar with the costs that come with them. Think of your social media posts as potential newspaper ads and billboards—with a much lower price tag. 


On social media, you can promote special deals and discounts, and you promote that to people who are already interested in your brandYou won't get that in a newspaper or billboard! 


Again, tracking is key. Built-in social media metrics show how many people clicked on your ad and any links you provided, and UTM codes show how much web traffic came in through those links. 


Is it a perfect indicator of ROI? No, not at the moment. But your website should already be optimized to convert (if it's not, we can help!), so anyone who visits through those ads should already be primed to buy! 


Consistent Feedback and Interaction

Yelp has established its entire business on reviews, but it stops short of providing a convenient avenue to communicate with followers. That's where the other platforms can get involved. 


Your social media profiles are the perfect place to tease new products and services, get feedback on established products and services, and even simply have fun with your following. 


Imagine: Unbiased feedback from people who care about your brand. Some businesses pay millions of dollars to develop products, but your loyal followers can grant you free feedback that can help you tweak your way to success. It's not a perfect system, but it's an affordable alternative. 


Social Media Management: Where the Money Goes


There are a couple of major expenditures for social media:  



While setting up a profile is free, maintaining one isn't. There's always labor involved, and "labor" here isn't just posting. Proper social media management involves careful metrics tracking, engaging with followers and communities, and training others to manage the account. But your SM efforts could pull in other departments as well. Say your SM specialist needs an original image from one of your in-house designers—suddenly your SM efforts require additional human resources.



On top of all of that, you may have additional expenses in the form of ad budget. That budget can fluctuate depending on your business and target demographics, but it's something that must be factored. 


The work that goes into social media management is so complex, it's prompted some social media management tools to create ROI calculators


Where You Can Get Professional Help

Breathe easy, Poetica Marketing is here to help. We have the industry experience necessary to generate maximum ROI on every social media dollar you spend. Contact us today for a free consultation. 


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P.S. Marketing Solutions LLC dba Poetica Marketing  |  |  412-522-0647 | 519 Louann St, Pittsburgh, PA 15223