Why businesses give up on Social Media can be summed up in just one acronym: ROI.
When I spend thirty dollars per day advertising one of my products on another website, I can look at the immediate results of seeing an additional 150 people viewing my pitch page per day. With a conversion rate of 3% I know that about 5 people will in turn click through and purchase my product. So for thirty dollars per day I am making around $120 ($150-$30). That’s a ROI of $120 per day and something any business person would recognize as a great decision.
What makes social media so challenging to get up and running in a business or even a startup company is the lack of ROI. Well, at least the tangible kind of ROI we are used to seeing in business. This new media is far too slippery to be nailed down by such terminology as ROI or other aspects of a standard business.
How can you possibly measure concepts like:
Being able to see the future of online business and realize that it’s all about slow building, interpersonal connections through social media is quite a leap from the standard business thinking of twenty years ago. Hell, even five to ten years ago.
But you’re different huh? You can see the ROI which social media can give you, but are you willing to invest so much time and effort into something that will give you zero results at first? If you had to work as an employee for a year before you got paid, but the pay would quadruple every year worked after the first, would you do it? Most people would not because they physically cannot lose the money they could have been gaining working their current job.
The secret to making social media work for you is to start off very very small and build from there. One @tweet per day, one Facebook comment, one stumble, one digg etc. Just one. It doesn’t seem like much but if all you gain is one new reader (the person you wrote to initially that day) then in 365 days you will have earned hopefully 365 new readers at least. Perhaps half the people who you choose to follow end up following you in return. Wouldn’t 182 new prospects be valuable? What is so amazing about social media is the fact that those 182 prospects would probably attract a handful of other people who also follow them. So it may sound like only 182 people but it’s really an incalculable amount more.
Social Media takes a long time but it’s time well spend. By practicing good time management you can take a break from your primary business in order to slowly make social media a part of that business.