Social Media: How to Maximize Your Return on Investment

by Michelle Salater on September 6, 2010

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Companies that look at their social media presence as an important aspect of their marketing strategy are the ones to build successful and strong relationships with others on social networks. Why? Because these companies take their presence on social media as an integral part of their business success and make time to be active on these sites and interact with their customers, peers, influencers, and other companies.

In fact, according to a post by the Social Media B2B blog, “Only 50% of B2B marketers formally analyze metrics to judge ROI—but those that do find online marketing more effective.” Companies that take the time to analyze results and make changes to their marketing efforts based on these results are much more likely to find success in these social realms.

Sumèr makes it a point to analyze our social media metrics to judge our ROI and, through this analysis, we fully understand what we must do to continue fostering relationships online and increasing our business success.

Here are a few of our findings from analyzing our past social media efforts:

The Power of the Tweet

The Action: A Tweet sent me to Zimbabwe to speak and landed me a web copy client and much more. Yes, a Tweet.

One day last winter, Brittany (@sailorgurl8), Sumèr’s Love Your Blog manager, came across @BigAfrica1 on Twitter while searching for recent talk about Africa. We shared @BigAfrica1’s Twitter handle with one of our clients in hopes that the two companies could foster a relationship. Our client reached out and spoke with the founders of Big Africa. And a week later, my client emailed me Big Africa’s personal contact information and said that I should contact them. I reached out, and sure enough, a powerful relationship blossomed.

The Result: What came out of this conversation was more than I would have ever bargained for. Sumèr was hired to write Big Africa’s web copy, and I was asked to speak at the Big Africa business conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, in May 2010. The conference brought business professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors together from Europe, Africa, and the U.S.—all of whom I was able to get in front of and introduce to the Sumèr brand. Because my team and I took action on one tweet, I was able to build a relationship that has provided me with invaluable results.

Blog Commenting

The Action: A few months ago, I noticed a man named Blase Ciabaton commenting on our blog, Copy Doodle. So, I asked Brittany to find out a little bit more about who he was, and she began to follow him on Twitter. It wasn’t long before Blase reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked me to be a guest blogger on his blog, TheDirectMailMan.com.

From there, we began messaging each other back and forth over LinkedIn and email. We soon realized that we would be a great match to host a webinar. And during our conversations about the webinar outline, we talked about how great it would be to make this talk into a live event.

The Result: Thanks to reaching out to one of my blog commenters and going beyond guest blogging, I’m going to Naples, Florida, in September to speak at two live events with Blase on Integrated Marketing. Additional results included a joint webinar and the potential to gain market share in Southern Florida.

Forum Conversations

The Action: While spending time on a Ning Forum one day, I came across a question posted by Doug Stewart, founder of Power to Fight the Big Boys blog. After I responded, I took a look at his blog and loved what I saw. We went back and forth a few times on the forum; we both started commenting on each other’s blogs; and I followed up with Doug via email.

The Result: Doug and I have guest blogged on each other’s blogs several times, which has led to exposure to new lists and consumers for both of us. Not to mention, his blog has become an invaluable resource for me and other bloggers I know. Even better, I’m able to use his informative posts to educate my social network.

Tips on what you can do to reach out and create lasting relationships:

1) Thank people via social media messaging or email for joining your Facebook business page or for following you on Facebook.

2) Send a personal (not a generic auto responder) message to new Twitter followers. Once people begin following you on Twitter, visit their website or blog to learn a little bit more about them before sending a message.

3) Retweet what you love; then direct message the person and tell them why you loved the post. Take it a step further, and ask them to be a guest blogger.

In a nutshell: It’s not enough to simply post stuff—you have to engage and take initiative. Reach out beyond 140 characters and beyond simply posting a link to your favorite post or video. Ask questions, provide feedback, be compassionate, and be sincere.

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If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. Social Media Marketing on Autopilot: The Dos and Don’ts
  2. Save Time and Energy with A Social Media Editorial Calendar
  3. Track and Organize Your Social Media Results
  4. How to Use Social Media Geographic Targeting to Attract Clients
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