What IS Your Social Media ROI?

I came across an article from the badasses over at The American Genius called ” Study says investing in social media ads ROI is all a hoax.” And I read it, and I fumed, and then I laughed. It amazes me that after all the years of using and studying social media, people are still doing the same stuff, making the same mistakes, and blaming social media as a fake, phoney, hoax. So let me share some things with you that I share with all of my clients.

First, let’s talk about ROI, which means Return On Investment. In other words, what are you getting back for what you are putting out.


Let’s get one thing straight; money isn’t the only investment or the only return.

Yeah, that’s what most businesses think of first (since you need money to stay in business) but it’s not the only currency. And if you aren’t sitting down and setting goals and expectations about what your client should be getting out of social media, then you are doing them and yourself a grave disservice.Sit down with your clients (or team) and ask the question “What does social media success look like?” Because you might surprised at the answer. It might be something as simple as “I want people to see our page and know that we’re real professionals” or even “I just need more people on the mailing list” and yes “I want to sell more stuff/services/products.” Your job is to make sure their social media work is aimed at those goals. And sometimes that means redirecting their efforts.

Remember back in the day when Facebook was about to go public and GM announced that they were canceling their Facebook advertising because it didn’t work? At the time, it seemed like it would be a big blow to FB’s IPO, but personally, I just laughed. Because what idiot at GM thought they were going to sell cars through a Facebook ad? (PS – GM totally started running ads again in 2013) In my experience, Facebook ads are good for four things:

  • Facebook actions (likes for the page, engagement, reach, etc)
  • Clicks to a link (join my mailing list, get this free white paper, check out our new post, etc)
  • Retargeting (following users around with that product they just looked at on your site)
  • Funny T-shirts and knock-off sunglasses (impulse purchases)

People generally aren’t sitting on Facebook, looking at an ad, and buying a car/ signing a contract for a $5,000 a month business service/booking a $10,000 luxury vacation.

So if your client is a real estate agent and says “I want to use FB/Instagram ads to sell my listings,” it is your job to say “That’s not how this works. You can drive traffic to the listing. You can make some cool videos of the house to share; but you aren’t going to sell a house from an ad on Facebook. No one is going to click to buy a house. And also, your site isn’t set up to click to buy a house. So there’s no way to measure that.” Tough to hear (and say) but true.

Social Media Measurement

Facebook (and really all social media) is an amazing tool for lead generation, customer service, engagement, and brand building. But it’s the top of the funnel, not the bottom. It’ll get eyes on your stuff, and it will help build trust and reputation, and it’ll keep you in the forefront of people’s minds…..all things that factor in to people making decisions to purchase. And that has a great deal of value.

So before you write off social media as a “failure” or a “hoax,” make sure that you are really defining what success means.


Picking The Perfect Platform For Your Business

I’m about to make a shocking statement. Are you sitting down? Okay, here goes….


mind blown

*mind blown*

I know, you weren’t expecting to hear that. And now you’re like, how can that be? Everyone is on Facebook! That’s how you DO social media.

I’m not going to lie; Facebook is a big part of social media. And it is pretty important for a B2C business to have a presence on there.  But it isn’t the be-all-end-all of your social presence, and it may not even be the best place to connect with your customers.

So where is the best place to connect? Where should you be focusing your efforts? And how the heck do you use these newfangled platforms? These four tips will help you find the best platforms to focus your efforts.

Know Your Audience

Chances are, you have an avatar for your customers; a kind of catch-all view of who is interested in your product of service. (If you didn’t create a customer avatar when you first got into business, there is no time like the present to create one!) Once you have a good handle on who your customers are, research the demographics of a variety of social platforms to see IF your customers are hanging out there. WHEN they are hanging there, and WHAT they do there. Do they interact with businesses? Do they click on ads? Do they use offers/specials listed promoted on social? Knowing if your customer base is active on a certain platform will help you decide if YOU should be active on that platform.

Look Outside The Box…. I Mean…. The ‘Book

think outside the box

Be that one flying goldfish, y’all.

Like I said above, Facebook is not the be-all-end-all of social media. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have seen a huge surge in users and have become big traffic movers and sales channels for many types of businesses. But don’t discount small social platforms either. Finding a niche social platform might not have the same volume of traffic, but it will have more people that are interested in your specific industry. For example, authors may have a hard time making waves on Twitter, but can build up a loyal following on GoodReads.  If your company is based in food, start a page on Epicurious to connect with fellow food lovers instead of getting lost in the sea of food pics on Instagram. Don’t get me wrong; the big platforms are important. But adding in a niche one can really help you get traction.

Be Realistic

I cannot stress this one enough. Whether you are a one-person show, running a small business on your own, or you have a 5 person marketing team, there are limits to your resources. Give yourself a time budget; how much time can you realistically dedicate to your social media presence in hours per week? Once you decide that, then you can choose how many platforms to be active on. For some businesses, that number is 1 or 2; others can manage 5-6. Whatever the limit is, stick to it and do it well. It would be better for your customers to see 1 or 2 well-populated and managed social pages than 5 that are empty and deserted. Don’t spread yourself too thin. No one likes toast with not enough butter. DON’T BE THAT TOAST.

There are a ton of other factors in building your full social media marketing strategy. We haven’t even touched on content creation/curation, blogging, editorial calendars, etc. But this will help you get started and at least decide where to focus your efforts. And if you have more questions, you can always reach out to me. I’ll totally help you!



Sponsored Posts and Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been in the news quite a bit lately. From the FTC cracking down on influencer’s liberal take on noting when something is sponsored, to marketing experts claiming that influencer marketing is dying out. What does that mean for influencer marketing? Even better, what the heck does influencer marketing mean?

michelle phan

Beauty entrepreneur and influencer, Michelle Phan

Influencer marketing is where companies hire influencers in their particular field to promote their product or service. For a long time, that just mean celebrity endorsers. But with the rise of the internet famous (ie. YouTube vloggers, bloggers, Vine stars, Instagram models, etc) the field of influencers has widened considerably.

That sounds cool! I should do that! Wait, should I do that?

Contrary to this article (which appears to have been written to support the author’s dislike of influencer marketing and to make sure everyone knows he is sooooo above influencer marketing) influencer marketing is a very good thing, and can do wonders for a brand. Now, does that mean you should shell out $1M for a Karashian to post an Snapchat video with your product? Probably not. But here’s how to make influencer marketing work for you.

patrick starr

Beauty vlogger, Patrick Starr

Do your research.

There are a lot of “big name” influencers out there these days. I’m going to use the beauty industry because I buy a lot of makeup. Top influencers collaborate with big brands: MannyMua with Makeup Geek, Patrick Starr with Formula X, Graveyard Girl with Tarte…. the list goes on and on. Those are some of the bigger influencers with some of the biggest followings. But there are also a ton of influencers with smaller, but fiercely dedicated followings. Working with someone like that can be an excellent way to ease into an influencer partnership.

kathleen lights

Beauty vlogger and ColourPop collaborator, KathleenLights

Put that ish in writing.

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo lately about digital influencers skirting the FTC’s rules on differentiating between a regular post and a sponsored post. Some say that just adding #spon or #ad to a post is enough, but others say that doesn’t make it super clear. Either way, it’s murky waters and influencers are always going to test the limits to keep it as real as possible with their audiences. So, that means the burden falls on you, the product/service owner. PUT IT IN THE CONTRACT. Give your new partner very clear and specific guidelines. Tell them what wording they have to use to be FTC compliant. And if they don’t? Well, they don’t get paid. Don’t mess around with that stuff. Make it crystal clear and get it in writing.

Jenny claire fox

Nail and beauty vlogger, Jenny Claire Fox

Know your audience and know where they are.

To put it simply, don’t hire a Vine video influencer to rep promote your stuff if your audience is 50+ males. They aren’t hanging out on Vine. Know your audience; know where they are, what they use, and how they connnect. I know all the hip kids are on Snapchat, but if those hip kids aren’t your audience, you are throwing money away. Make sure that the influencers you choose to work with have strong followings on the channels that matter to you.

Know what you are measuring.

Decide ahead of time what you will be measuring to determine the success of your influencer work. Set up a specific landing page/promo code/email list/etc just for that promotion so you can monitor exactly what is happening. If you just go into your agreement with a vague “I want to really make this POP” then you won’t get the results you want and your partner will feel like you wasted their time. No one wins.

Don’t expect lightning to strike right away.

Be ready with a plan B and C and even D! Your first campaign with an influencer might not hit, so be ready to try out a few different images/captions/videos/promos to see what works best. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your influencer isn’t going to make you a viral marketing hit in one post.

Working with influencers can be a great way to build your brand and get in front of new eyes. But keep in mind that it is only one tool in the digital marketer’s toolbox. Don’t expect them to make your product “go viral” and sell a million units. Influencers should not be your whole strategy, but they can be a great piece of your strategy. Use them wisely.


Social Media Marketing Isn’t Free; It Costs $1.05

If you get that movie reference in the title of this post, then we can totally be friends!

freedom isn't free

Here’s a hint!

I’m going to level with you friends; social media isn’t new and shiny anymore. There’s no more “We’ll wait to see if this fad pans out” for businesses. It’s a real and important tool that your company should be utilizing. And guess what? Just like all other avenues of marketing, it isn’t free.

Say it with me everyone:


There is this crazy and unrealistic expectation that because social platforms are free (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc) that it means that marketing on those platforms should be free. Now I realize that in the early days, businesses had free reign and could do whatever they wanted to market to people. And you know what happened? Those privileges were abused, and social platforms started clamping down and changing the rules to ensure that businesses weren’t annoying the crap out of users.

(Also, those social platforms were under pressure to actually start being a profitable business.)

Friends, those days are long gone. If you want to get something out of your social media marketing, you need to put something in. And not just a 5-hour a week intern that posts on your pages. You need to have strategy, a good employee or freelancer, and a marketing budget. If you want to sell a book or a fashion accessory, or get people to see your cooking videos or your new web series, then set a budget and run some ads! Stop assuming that you are entitled to free leads and marketing just because you set up a page for free. Stop waiting for your post/video/image quote/lame joke to “go viral” and bring millions to your page and website. You want that engaged audience? You want those clicks to your site? Then set up a real budget and market like a real business.

If you need help on doing this, call me. It’s what I do for a living. And I’d be more than happy to help you get started, or even do it for you. I’m nice like that!

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