Analytics. From Google to Facebook, we are always tracking for the numbers. As marketers, we know that not everything is black and white. When thinking of sales, we look for the hard facts; for traditional marketing that was the case – if I spend X amount on a newspaper campaign, and I know the circulation for the newspaper is 100,000, than I will have the potential of reaching up to 100,000 people. Cost per impression would be the cost of your ad divided by the number of potential people you can reach (Impression= Cost of Ad ÷ People Viewed). Depending on how many deals you close will determine your profit margin, and thus if the campaign was successful or not.
That was Sales and Marketing 101. Now let’s talk about another type of marketing… Word-of-Mouth. This is and will always be a successful way of reaching out to your customers and clients. If you do a good job, other people will talk about their experiences and you will get more business. You can even pay people to help them spread the word (recruited referrals). Without the referral attached to this, there is no way to measure a true ROI for Word of Mouth. You didn’t spend any money, and you can’t essentially put a price on how much the word-of-mouth is worth. For something like this, we use the term ROR or Return on Relationship. Something that I go over in my session at the CharTec Academy is that like any relationship, you must nurture the relationship. The more you put into it, the better the return will be. Social media is the same way.
Now that’s not to say that you cannot track an ROI by utilizing social media, but it should not be your first focus. Posting a funny picture on Friday about a bitten apple taped to the back of an old Dell laptop does nothing for bringing in money to the company… but the impression that exposure gives us is priceless. Having other people “Like,” share, and talk about your brand is today’s form of word of mouth marketing.
“Increasingly, consumers don’t search for products and services. Rather, services come to their attention via social media.” Erik Qualman (@equalman), Author of Socialnomics
By nurturing the relationship you are creating a win-win for both your followers and your brand. Be engaging and personal and people will love you and your brand. Then, when you ask for something (like a survey or to read a new blog or check out a new product or service) they are more inclined to do it because you have built a trust, but more importantly, they have built a relationship with you, the brand.