Archive for category ROI

Social Media Doesn’t Have To Be A Pitfall

Everyone who’s every worked in an office understands the dangers that social media can present.  If you aren’t careful, you’ll wind up spending more time socializing than actually doing your work.  That’s why so many companies have policies against using it at all while on the clock (with the possible exception of when you’re on break).  However, there’s a problem with this: it cuts down on the level of social media interaction that your company can have with your client base.

Don’t misunderstand me.  There are things that experts can do for your company that you’d only be able to stumble through at best.  But, there are also things that your employees can do that simply can’t be achieved through any outside influence.  You need both in order to get the full spectrum of what’s possible.  Otherwise, you’re always going to be missing out on something or other.

So we find ourselves back to addressing the pitfall that’s been present since the beginning.  How do you allow your employees to use social media at work without accidentally giving them a way out of work whether they use it intentionally or not?  The answer is surprisingly simple:  You set limits on what will be done during business hours.  When you do that, they can take quick breaks with their friends (if they happen to be on at the same time), and they can actually help with social outreach to your client base.

For one thing, you can require that some of their time online be spent on your company’s social media sites.  Any number of specific methods could be used but the point is that, while your employees are on any SM site while on the clock, your company is on that site.  As long as it doesn’t become a new source of stress for your people, that’s a valuable resource that you shouldn’t dismiss.  Simply setting reasonable limits on what will be done while at the office will take something that was potentially a serious pitfall and turn it into an asset for the company.


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Even The Changing Internet Still Needs Quality Content On Every Page

Ok, so everyone knows that the Internet is changing about as much as it’s staying the same.  Online stores don’t change as much, except in style, as other things – although there are some parts of social media that are starting to look like serious online stores, and there are some stores that have developed their own social media.  For all of that, how many times has Facebook made major changes since you signed up on it?

Well, it doesn’t matter what your website does, you need it to be as high quality as possible.  Dead and broken links are an obvious thing to avoid, but have you ever thought about how easy it is for people to read what your pages have to say?  I’m not talking about the general idea of “We offer this, we also do that”, I’m talking about what you have online to convince people that they should do business with you.

That has a bearing on everything, because it’s the whole reason you’re online in the first place.  What’s your return on investment going to be if you only invest in a lousy presentation for your goods and services?  Even the people that do a poor job are going to charge you real money (as opposed to fake money) for what they do.  So, you need to make sure that what you’re spending money on is going to be good enough to actually do what you want it to.

For another example, I could keep writing on this post forever talking about the importance of doing a good job in content, but that wouldn’t do anything extra to convince you to use for your SEO services.  So, just babbling along would be poor-quality content.  And you’d probably just close the browser window.

So what’s the point?  The point is that, no matter who you get for help online – or even whether you get help at all – you have to make sure that everything from your homepage to the page that has the specific thing someone’s looking for has nothing more or less than the level of content that’s going to help people to make a good decision.  You shouldn’t badger them, you shouldn’t bore them, and above all you shouldn’t distract them with extra things that have nothing to do with the decision at hand:  If you bring up something tangential that you do, they may stop and think “Hey, that’s cool, but I know this site over here that does it best” and leave your site without doing anything.

You need to make sure that every page is carefully crafted from the bit up to help you achieve your company’s goals.  This takes attention, persistence, and patience but it’s the only way to make your site a success no matter whether it’s a store or an SM page for interfacing with your client base.

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Cash In Point

A month and a half ago, I told you about some companies making money by selling you products that only exist in games on your computer.  Well, here’s the proof that it’s a lucrative set up, if you need anything more:

A game’s player just made a fortune by selling off his in-game real estate.  That’s $635 thousand in real money, before taxes.  This guy wasn’t one of the people who made and ran the game, either, he’s just someone who plays it.

Oh, brave new world, that has such financial opportunities in it.  The Internet has definitely changed everything, so who knows what we’ll be in ten years because of it?

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Is Social Media A Measurable Investment?

It’s important to understand what sort of goals you want to achieve for your company before you set out promoting it.  Otherwise, there’s no way for you to know when you’re succeeding and when you’re failing – something everyone in business needs to know so they can change tactics rather than get swept away because what they’re doing isn’t working.

There are times when keeping track of the effectiveness of something like social media can be overdone to the point of being more detrimental than helpful, but even then you still need to be able to tell whether or not your efforts are being wasted.  It gets delicate in social media, admittedly, because of how much less inclined people are to identify themselves when subject to an audience – that’s what’s behind feelings of stage fright.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t negate the fact that you need to know whether the money you’re putting into a social media campaign is actually worth it.  No matter whether they’re big or small, companies can’t afford to invest hard-earned money on intangible benefits.  There has to be a real payoff in order to justify the expense.  Fortunately, this doesn’t have to involve any kind of “pop quiz” where a company’s clients have to say whether they decided to do business because of something like a page on Facebook.

Part of the complication is that more people are going to see your website than just the people who “like” it on Facebook.  The friends of anyone who interacts with your site are going to see them doing it, which may inspire them to give your company a chance even if they don’t jump on the bandwagon on social media.

There are other ways to learn whether an SM campaign is successful or not, though.  Tracking cookies are an obvious step, although they can be hampered by people deleting their stored cookies after a while.  Modest coupons, published only through a single SM outlet, can be another way to learn what you need to know – people love bargains, and they’re sure to use the coupon next time they do business with you if they’re following you on that particular SM site.

The point is this:  if you want your social media efforts to be a success, you can’t pressure people into giving you the assurance that it’s working; but you also can’t ignore all methods of confirmation, because that risks bankruptcy if your SM isn’t working at all.  A balance in between is what you need in order to use social media successfully.  That way, you can keep what’s working and replace what isn’t and benefit from social media and what it has to offer for businesses.

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