Business Owners: 7 Secrets For More Sales AND More Free Time

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Google Advertising, Social Media ROI

Working-on-VacaDisclaimer: a lot of business owners don’t vacation a lot- they’d rather be working, but successful ones are more able to go on vacation. We’ll come back to the vacation thing- the whole point is:

  • How can you set up processes and systems and tools that help you continue to make money so that you can focus on whatever you want. Things like running the other 80% of your business.
  • How can you make sure that Internet marketing and sales is a tool that works for you regularly, not a problem to constantly fix?

Internet marketing is complicated: geeks do it.

Internet marketing is broad: there are at least ten subtopics.

Internet marketing is deep: you can spend weeks learning just one of those subtopics.

There’s way too much to learn, from way too many blogs. It’s a win-win clients when they pay us to manage their Facebook ads and Google ads. Our services aren’t free, but they save our clients a ton of time, worry, and click costs. We drive the costs down and the profits up. Interested? Bring it on.lawrenceready

Tip #1: Advertise

There are businesses who can’t afford advertising. In my MOZ Facebook Ads article I said, “If you can’t afford $30 a month (for Facebook ads), you shouldn’t be in business.”

I personally have spent more than $29,000 on Facebook ads and more than $34,000 on Google ads for my own business.

We’ve managed client advertising spends that range from $100 a day to $28,000 a day.

Tip #2: Focus on Advertising PROFITS

coffeeYou need to know you’re getting real customers out of this.

Put that coffee down. Coffee is for profitable advertisers.

To not lose money in online advertising, you either have to

  • Climb a steep (and geeky) learning curve to do-it-yourself, or
  • Have enough money to hire someone.

The battlefields of 21st century business are littered with the corpses of companies who used Facebook and Google ads ineffectively.

Even offerings like Google’s Small Business Express AdWords program, since they’re automated, can be ineffective. Google and Facebook are definitely making money off this, but can you? Yes, if the people running those ads are experts.

Tip #3: Combine Facebook & Google

Facebook + Google = A Winning Marketing/Sales Team

Facebook is like a marketer and Google is like a salesperson. Traditionally, the marketer grabs awareness and gets people in, and salespeople close the sale. matrixorigami

Facebook ads can perform just about any marketing function– from market research to raising awareness to lead gen to sales.

Google ads get you the quick profits. They help you reach prospects who are ready to buy. That’s a smarter spend, but the cost can be high. Facebook advertising’s strengths are its low cost. In some niches it’s almost too expensive to even try Google ads.

  • For example, our clients in the hosting niche often can’t spend Google’s $28 – $65 per click for leads. Those Google click costs mean the customer sale can cost $2,000 – $6,500.
  • With Facebook ads we get these hosting companies leads for $22 – $130 each, and the cost per sale is closer to $200 – $1,300.

Combine both Facebook and Google. Add in their retargeting capabilities (to keep ads in front of people who’ve been to your website). Then you’ve positioned yourself:

  • To be known,
  • To persuade,
  • To stay top of mind, and
  • To sell.

Kaboom.

Tip #4: Focus on Facebook Ad Sales

leoWe’ve used Facebook ads to generate sales for clients in businesses as diverse as:

  • A Pizza Delivery Chain in Scotland
  • A Company That Produces Rock Concerts on Cruises
  • Online consultancies

A lot of companies haven’t gotten sales with Facebook because:

  • They haven’t tried,
  • They didn’t advertise, or
  • They didn’t have a Facebook ads expert.

If you can afford to advertise, test driving sales with Facebook ads by working with a Facebook ads expert.

Tip #5: Track The Source of Your Sales

The fact is, to prove you can get sales, you have to be able to track the sale’s online source. B2B salespeople must use a sophisticated CRM like salesforce to track the sale back to the original online marketing channel. Otherwise, you’re throwing money away.

At least some of it. John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” With great online tracking, you can find out which half, and stop wasting it! Instead of wasting that money, use it elsewhere or reinvest it in the profitable advertising. failgoodbye

But many businesses can’t track their sales accurately back to the original online channel- no matter how willing they are. Just like this skateboard kid, we lose track of them.

Consumer packaged goods clients like Pediacare, Chloraseptic and Dramamine sell their products in many retail outlets- those retail stores, such as Walmart and CVS, compete with each other, and don’t make it possible for brand to track their retail sales back to the online marketing source. So, for these clients often all we can measure online is awareness, web traffic, social engagement, and coupons. Even online coupon-creation services don’t make it easy to track online advertising success. Tracking problems are epidemic. But these clients do know that:

  • We’re generating super affordable awareness,
  • We’re making their website traffic much more affordable, and
  • We’re build relationships and loyalty that give them a competitive advantage.

Some of our B2B clients use us to generate leads via Google ads, Facebook ads, ebooks and whitepapers- but not all of these companies use a modern CRM, like Salesforce. As a result, we can increase their leads and lower their cost per lead, it’s clear we’ve improved their lead pipelines and they can convert those leads to sales, but the exact ROI number is difficult to find.

A TON of B2B companies are still making, or thinking about making, the transition to 21st century marketing and sales. Many of them have succeeded so far on word of mouth, but to grow further, they need to add online advertising and a modern CRM, like Salesforce.

Any company with the ability to track their sales back to the online source has a real advantage, because that information can be used to eliminate waste and increase profits. That bears repeating: Accurate tracking is a competitive advantage.

Tip #6: Choose Smaller Marketing Agencies

We run a boutique (that means small) internet/social marketing shop for several reasons.

  • First, we can handle a lot of business as we are, because one of our biggest values and talents is efficiency.
  • Second, we are able to charge what we think the value is- which seems high to some people and low to others.
  • Third, we can choose to work only with savvy, open-minded and teachable clients and agencies.
  • Fourth, we’ve found that having experts who know how to do more than one thing helps us find the client more opportunities and get better results.

matrixblocks I’ve worked at an agency, and I’ve worked with about a dozen other agencies. There are pros and cons for clients to work with them. (And by the way, I’ve seen much smarter things happen at the smaller agencies. We have several favorite agencies because they get it.)

On the pro side, if they’re a large, big-name agency, if their results for you aren’t good, you can blame them and hire another agency. If CYA and job-preservation is your main goal in your job, sure, go with a big-name agency.

But if you’d rather explain to your boss why your results are so awesome, don’t. The biggest problem with big-name agencies is that they often either:

  • Have interns (with just a few years experience) do most of your marketing work (because that boosts their profits), or
  • They outsource it to companies like mine (because we get better results).

The most extreme example I’ve seen of Internet marketing outsourcing was:

In the early days of Facebook ads (2010), we were hired as one of two companies generating fans for a well known Fortune 500 brand- we were hired by a company that was hired by a company that was hired by an agency that was hired by the brand.

What happens when you do business in that way? Yes, risk is mitigated, but prices are boosted at every step. Lack of contact with the actual client can also lead to missed opportunities or miscommunications. Goals and execution are fragmented to the point where sometimes the sum of the parts turns out to be less than the whole. learning fall

The most maddening problem is when a brand manager really doesn’t understand internet marketing or social media, and the big-agency account executive doesn’t want to make the brand manager feel dumb, so they don’t educate them, so the brand manager chooses bad strategies. Do you really want your company to make the same mistakes other companies have already made? If not, be teachable.

These days, you don’t have to know how to DO everything, but you do have to learn what’s possible and what’s not- what works and what doesn’t.

If you want to get the best results with Internet Marketing, let experts advise and run it the smartest way. If you’re going to micromanage, learn about strategies, results, what’s possible, what’s likely, what the typical obstacles are, what doesn’t work… et cetera.

If you don’t like learning, get good at delegating or get into a simpler business, like pool cleaning maybe 🙂

If you micromanage your vendors, but you don’t ask for education from them, you’re asking for trouble.

Tip #7: Learn From The Leaders

catstudystrategyThe trailblazers in discovering the best ways to grow profits using the Internet, for the last decade or more, have been:

  • Internet marketers: the people and companies who do email marketing, SEO, and online advertising are usually the first to employ the latest greatest tools and tactics.
  • Internet marketing tool providers: software-as-a-service companies that provide innovations in marketing and sales often eat their own dog food and grow faster than their competitors.
  • Infoproduct and affiliate marketers: people who make money by teaching and selling to marketers are often the first to include new tools and tactics in their processes.

By looking at the offerings of companies like Facebook, Google, Marketo, Salesforce and Leadpages and learning how other companies have succeeded with them, you can clearly see the path to 21st century online profits. I wish it was easy to outline all of that in one blog post! Contact us for more info about how your company can get to the next level with online marketing.

Business Owners: How To Get More Sales While You're On Vacation

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Google Advertising, Social Media ROI

Working-on-VacaDisclaimer: a lot of business owners don’t vacation a lot- they’d rather be working, but successful ones are more able to go on vacation. We’ll come back to the vacation thing- the whole point is:

  • How can you set up processes and systems and tools that help you continue to make money so that you can focus on whatever you want. Things like running the other 80% of your business.
  • How can you make sure that Internet marketing and sales is a tool that works for you regularly, not a problem to constantly fix?

Internet marketing is complicated: geeks do it.

Internet marketing is broad: there are at least ten subtopics.

Internet marketing is deep: you can spend weeks learning just one of those subtopics.

There’s way too much to learn, from way too many blogs. It’s a win-win clients when they pay us to manage their Facebook ads and Google ads. Our services aren’t free, but they save our clients a ton of time, worry, and click costs. We drive the costs down and the profits up. Interested? Bring it on.lawrenceready

Tip #1: Advertise

There are businesses who can’t afford advertising. In my MOZ Facebook Ads article I said, “If you can’t afford $30 a month (for Facebook ads), you shouldn’t be in business.”

I personally have spent more than $29,000 on Facebook ads and more than $34,000 on Google ads for my own business.

We’ve managed client advertising spends that range from $100 a day to $28,000 a day.

Tip #2: Focus on Advertising PROFITS

coffeeYou need to know you’re getting real customers out of this.

Put that coffee down. Coffee is for profitable advertisers.

To not lose money in online advertising, you either have to

  • Climb a steep (and geeky) learning curve to do-it-yourself, or
  • Have enough money to hire someone.

The battlefields of 21st century business are littered with the corpses of companies who used Facebook and Google ads ineffectively.

Even offerings like Google’s Small Business Express AdWords program, since they’re automated, can be ineffective. Google and Facebook are definitely making money off this, but can you? Yes, if the people running those ads are experts.

Tip #3: Combine Facebook & Google

Facebook + Google = A Winning Marketing/Sales Team

Facebook is like a marketer and Google is like a salesperson. Traditionally, the marketer grabs awareness and gets people in, and salespeople close the sale. matrixorigami

Facebook ads can perform just about any marketing function– from market research to raising awareness to lead gen to sales.

Google ads get you the quick profits. They help you reach prospects who are ready to buy. That’s a smarter spend, but the cost can be high. Facebook advertising’s strengths are its low cost. In some niches it’s almost too expensive to even try Google ads.

  • For example, our clients in the hosting niche often can’t spend Google’s $28 – $65 per click for leads. Those Google click costs mean the customer sale can cost $2,000 – $6,500.
  • With Facebook ads we get these hosting companies leads for $22 – $130 each, and the cost per sale is closer to $200 – $1,300.

Combine both Facebook and Google. Add in their retargeting capabilities (to keep ads in front of people who’ve been to your website). Then you’ve positioned yourself:

  • To be known,
  • To persuade,
  • To stay top of mind, and
  • To sell.

Kaboom.

Tip #4: Focus on Facebook Ad Sales

leoWe’ve used Facebook ads to generate sales for clients in businesses as diverse as:

  • A Pizza Delivery Chain in Scotland
  • A Company That Produces Rock Concerts on Cruises
  • Online consultancies

A lot of companies haven’t gotten sales with Facebook because:

  • They haven’t tried,
  • They didn’t advertise, or
  • They didn’t have a Facebook ads expert.

If you can afford to advertise, test driving sales with Facebook ads by working with a Facebook ads expert.

Tip #5: Track The Source of Your Sales

The fact is, to prove you can get sales, you have to be able to track the sale’s online source. B2B salespeople must use a sophisticated CRM like salesforce to track the sale back to the original online marketing channel. Otherwise, you’re throwing money away.

At least some of it. John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” With great online tracking, you can find out which half, and stop wasting it! Instead of wasting that money, use it elsewhere or reinvest it in the profitable advertising. failgoodbye

But many businesses can’t track their sales accurately back to the original online channel- no matter how willing they are. Just like this skateboard kid, we lose track of them.

Consumer packaged goods clients like Pediacare, Chloraseptic and Dramamine sell their products in many retail outlets- those retail stores, such as Walmart and CVS, compete with each other, and don’t make it possible for brand to track their retail sales back to the online marketing source. So, for these clients often all we can measure online is awareness, web traffic, social engagement, and coupons. Even online coupon-creation services don’t make it easy to track online advertising success. Tracking problems are epidemic. But these clients do know that:

  • We’re generating super affordable awareness,
  • We’re making their website traffic much more affordable, and
  • We’re build relationships and loyalty that give them a competitive advantage.

Some of our B2B clients use us to generate leads via Google ads, Facebook ads, ebooks and whitepapers- but not all of these companies use a modern CRM, like Salesforce. As a result, we can increase their leads and lower their cost per lead, it’s clear we’ve improved their lead pipelines and they can convert those leads to sales, but the exact ROI number is difficult to find.

A TON of B2B companies are still making, or thinking about making, the transition to 21st century marketing and sales. Many of them have succeeded so far on word of mouth, but to grow further, they need to add online advertising and a modern CRM, like Salesforce.

Any company with the ability to track their sales back to the online source has a real advantage, because that information can be used to eliminate waste and increase profits. That bears repeating: Accurate tracking is a competitive advantage.

Tip #6: Choose Smaller Marketing Agencies

We run a boutique (that means small) internet/social marketing shop for several reasons.

  • First, we can handle a lot of business as we are, because one of our biggest values and talents is efficiency.
  • Second, we are able to charge what we think the value is- which seems high to some people and low to others.
  • Third, we can choose to work only with savvy, open-minded and teachable clients and agencies.
  • Fourth, we’ve found that having experts who know how to do more than one thing helps us find the client more opportunities and get better results.

matrixblocks I’ve worked at an agency, and I’ve worked with about a dozen other agencies. There are pros and cons for clients to work with them. (And by the way, I’ve seen much smarter things happen at the smaller agencies. We have several favorite agencies because they get it.)

On the pro side, if they’re a large, big-name agency, if their results for you aren’t good, you can blame them and hire another agency. If CYA and job-preservation is your main goal in your job, sure, go with a big-name agency.

But if you’d rather explain to your boss why your results are so awesome, don’t. The biggest problem with big-name agencies is that they often either:

  • Have interns (with just a few years experience) do most of your marketing work (because that boosts their profits), or
  • They outsource it to companies like mine (because we get better results).

The most extreme example I’ve seen of Internet marketing outsourcing was:

In the early days of Facebook ads (2010), we were hired as one of two companies generating fans for a well known Fortune 500 brand- we were hired by a company that was hired by a company that was hired by an agency that was hired by the brand.

What happens when you do business in that way? Yes, risk is mitigated, but prices are boosted at every step. Lack of contact with the actual client can also lead to missed opportunities or miscommunications. Goals and execution are fragmented to the point where sometimes the sum of the parts turns out to be less than the whole. learning fall

The most maddening problem is when a brand manager really doesn’t understand internet marketing or social media, and the big-agency account executive doesn’t want to make the brand manager feel dumb, so they don’t educate them, so the brand manager chooses bad strategies. Do you really want your company to make the same mistakes other companies have already made? If not, be teachable.

These days, you don’t have to know how to DO everything, but you do have to learn what’s possible and what’s not- what works and what doesn’t.

If you want to get the best results with Internet Marketing, let experts advise and run it the smartest way. If you’re going to micromanage, learn about strategies, results, what’s possible, what’s likely, what the typical obstacles are, what doesn’t work… et cetera.

If you don’t like learning, get good at delegating or get into a simpler business, like pool cleaning maybe 🙂

If you micromanage your vendors, but you don’t ask for education from them, you’re asking for trouble.

Tip #7: Learn From The Leaders

catstudystrategyThe trailblazers in discovering the best ways to grow profits using the Internet, for the last decade or more, have been:

  • Internet marketers: the people and companies who do email marketing, SEO, and online advertising are usually the first to employ the latest greatest tools and tactics.
  • Internet marketing tool providers: software-as-a-service companies that provide innovations in marketing and sales often eat their own dog food and grow faster than their competitors.
  • Infoproduct and affiliate marketers: people who make money by teaching and selling to marketers are often the first to include new tools and tactics in their processes.

By looking at the offerings of companies like Facebook, Google, Marketo, Salesforce and Leadpages and learning how other companies have succeeded with them, you can clearly see the path to 21st century online profits. I wish it was easy to outline all of that in one blog post! Contact us for more info about how your company can get to the next level with online marketing.

The 5 Reasons Your Social Media Has No ROI [Infographic]

Posted on Posted in Social Media ROI

10408988_535991109860405_5084652414379756989_nThere are several failure points you need to watch out for:

1. You Have Lame Goals. Choose Better Ones.

Without a clear goal, you won’t know what to measure or if you’re successful.

Sometimes your social media goal doesn’t relate directly to bottom line revenue or profits, so you aren’t able to tie social success to a bottom line number. Because of theat, we recommend making your goal something closer to the bottom line, like lead gen or sales. Go beyond engagement and get them to your website.

Also, we recommend getting emails rather than more fans or followers. Emails are portable and cost less later on, given the need in Facebook to pay to promote your posts to your fans.

2. You’re Using The Wrong Metrics. Choose The Right Ones.

Without a key metric, you’ll get caught up in looking at the wrong numbers.

If you follow my goal-related advice above, your metric is going to be closer to the bottom line than reach or fan growth or post likes.

I’d like to see you use cost per lead or lead per impression or revenue or ROI.

3. Your Tracking Is Inaccurate. Go The Extra Mile To Track Accurately.

This is a problem everywhere. Almost always, you have to do something custom to track social media accurately. That can be as simple as adding URL Builder parameters to your URLs. It’s an extra step, but it makes a huge difference when you look at your analytics.

Otherwise, you’re probably only seeing 20% of your actual social traffic come up as “social”. It gets stuck in that “direct” category instead. That means 80% of your social traffic may not be visible in your analytics as “social”. That makes everything you do look bad.

It’s frustrating. Use the URL Builder tool.

Another option is to post to social with tools that track your results, such as Buffer, HootSuite or Rignite.

4. You’re Stuck In The Old “Big Idea” Mindset. Switch To Scientific Testing.

You need to have a scientific mindset, and rather than launching one campaign, test a bunch of smaller ideas. If you put all your eggs in one basket and fail, you have nothing else to rely on.

You wouldn’t put all your investments into one stock, you’d diversify. Do the same thing with your marketing.

5. You’re Ignoring Your Analytics. Evaluate and Adjust Your Direction Regularly.

Nothing you do matters much if you don’t review what works and doesn’t. If you never improve, your competition is going to crush you. The data you’re accumulating every day is a goldmine.

Once per week or month, go back and see which ads and posts and tweets and blog posts are working (in terms of your key metric), and which aren’t. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Also, make sure you’ve Facebookized Your Marketing.

Here’s an awesome infographic from Quick Sprout.

How to Calculate the ROI of Your Social Media Campaigns
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

The 12 Good, Bad and Ugly Things About
Facebook Marketing in 2016

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Posting, Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy

UPDATED FOR 2016! More tips added… and one of the BAD things is now a GOOD thing!

goodbaduglyfacebook

I had an email subscriber reply to my latest post about Facebook reply to me, “As much as I’m a fan, and have been for a long time, I’m starting to wonder if I can trust you. You never say anything negative about Facebook… I’m a fan of factual and logical articles, as opposed to the Avinash Kaushik cheerleader approach.

I admit, I am not a headline-grubbing attack-writer… that’s how some writers get attention. And I know that it’s popular to attack Facebook right now. But I’ve never been a trend follower, unless it makes sense to me.

I do not say everything about Facebook is good. I never have. I am more likely to disparage (without naming names) gurus and companies that recommend Facebook strategies that don’t work as well as others. I was never big on Facebook tabs, while some companies based their monetization strategies around them. I wasn’t surprised when Facebook diminished their role in the ecosystem. I’ve always recommended advertising as part of your Facebook strategy… so I feel like I’ve been ahead of the curve and balanced in my assessment of Facebook and its options for about four years now. To be fair, you would have had to read all my articles everywhere and my books and ebooks to get that.

Facebook is transformative for all of us- it teaches you that the positive, constructive approach (which can sound like cheerleading, I suppose?) works better than the negative one. It’s an interesting topic- I am about to go present to NBC Affiliate TV station Creative Directors, and they are on the front lines of the news vs. social media struggle… which, if we want to be reductive, is negativity vs. positivity… exemplified by Local man mug shots vs. cats, dogs and bacon.

Also, my focus is exclusively about how to get results from Facebook as a marketing platform. You’ll never see me talk about a Facebook Security issue, because that’s more of a user issue, if it really is an issue.

I think the real problem is that Facebook is easy to do poorly- and many businesses don’t put enough time and training into it. So they feel like they’ve wasted their money. They probably have, because the companies that don’t succeed with Facebook marketing are lukewarm about it and go with half-measures. They don’t allocate enough time or money to it. They shut their brains off when they hear anything too complicated about how to get results. I’m still trying to make Facebook marketing more simple and more certain than it is- but there’s only so far you can go. There’s only so much of the learning curve we can short-cut.

The information about how to get results with Facebook is out there- if you haven’t found it or learned it, don’t blame Facebook for your lack of results. BOOM! 🙂

So here’s a list for you… the good, the bad and the ugly. And let’s do that in reverse order, since in order to be credible I have to attack one of the platforms I recommend? Yep, that was sarcasm 😀

Facebook: The Ugly

  • No customer support for companies they haven’t identified as strategically important.
  • Some companies sunk a ton of money into fans, assuming (even though it has never been the case and Facebook never promised this) that they would always be able to reach those fans for free. Emails are more valuable than Facebook fans.
  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can waste a ton of advertising money and not get any profits. This is also true about Twitter, and to a lesser extent AdWords and Bing. (LinkedIn is just hard to even get a lot of clicks from.)
  • Facebook traffic won’t show accurately in Google Analytics without URL parameters, and you have to do custom javascript to track conversions if you’re using Facebook Connect to get leads.

Facebook: The Bad

  • There is a sharp learning curve for Facebook marketing, even if you already know how to do other types of digital marketing well. Facebook is a different medium, so you will have to market and communicate differently on it than other platforms. The ad platform is quite different from AdWords and Bing. One way I address that is with my Social Marketing Profits course.
  • Facebook marketing requires even a professional at least 5-10 hours a week of work, if you’re doing best practices. That includes time for advertising, posting and customer analysis.
  • Not every business gets satisfying results from marketing on Facebook. (But this is also true of AdWords, Bing, Twitter, LinkedIn- and every marketing option…)

Facebook: The Good

  • Biggest social media platform in the Western world- over 1.5 billion potential customers for you to reach. TV-sized reach. In many countries, more than 50% of the population uses Facebook.
  • Advertising with the most sophisticated targeting we’ve ever seen (infinitely better ad targeting than TV or radio). Even B2B targeting like job titles are available. In the U.S. you can also target people by income, net worth, home value, lines of credit and more.
  • Costs are 32x more affordable than TV or radio, and you can start for just $1 a day. Super-smart for businesses who can’t afford the huge TV ad campaigns. And Facebook is the ONLY ad platform that rewards you financially for finding your customer’s passions. When you find the right targeting, images and ad messaging your costs plummet and your profits skyrocket. This is a major reason Facebook gets the lion’s share of companies’ social advertising budgets.
  • Facebook is fundamentally positive, with no dislike button, so major PR problems are less likely to happen on Facebook than any other social platform. You can block people who prove they are troublemakers and aren’t good prospects. When you develop a passionate following, your fans will jump to your defense against online critics.
  • Facebook gives you the ability to learn more about your customers than you’ve ever known, which means you’ll be able to do all your marketing in all channels, even traditional ones, better than you could before. Audience Insights gives you over $10k in market research info for free.
  • I MOVED THIS FROM THE BAD CATEGORY TO GOOD. Facebook changes its features frequently. Any programmer can push things live. They’re trying to be agile and improve performance based on data, but users hate change and unhappy people sometimes are more vocal than happy ones. Still, one reason Facebook has succeeded more than other social platforms is that they try a lot of new features and offerings to help businesses win, and keep what works. That means the Swiss Army knife of marketing that is Facebook occasionally gets some new cool tools. If you’re already there, if you’ve invested the time and money to get it to work for your business, it’s easy to use the new things too.

Here’s Why Conversations Are NOT Critical For Social Media ROI

Posted on Posted in Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy

I’ve always loved conversations…. I have a philosophy degree, for Pete’s sake. (By the way tell Pete I said “Hi,” whoever he is.)

Conversations don’t always get results.

Ever since I’ve been involved with digital marketing, I’ve always wanted results from it.

Don’t you?

Don’t you want profits, revenue, sales, leads and website traffic? I do, in that order of priority.

If you do too, you’re going to like this blog post.

If you don’t, you might think I’m crazy.

What’s the point of growing a fanbase (or Twitter followers or email list) without revenue?

Owned media (email, fans, followers, members) is powerful and critical to most online companies’ success today, but you have to have a strategy to make money from it.

Conversations can be the enemy of ROI. Suppose you had to choose: do you want conversations or sales? Well, you do have to choose when you create the strategy and messaging.

FACT: on Facebook, people share posts just as often as they comment. And they LIKE posts 8x more often than they comment on them.

Many sales are made on Facebook without any commenting.

Yes, conversation is a big deal on Twitter. But conversation isn’t scalable. That’s why Twitter is constantly behind Facebook in almost every way.

You don’t need conversations to achieve social media ROI.

conversation-not-critical-social-media-roi-withtext

Twitter once was the core of social media, but now Facebook is.

Twitter is about networking, one person at a time. Facebook is about scalable marketing.

Conversation like Twitter has isn’t possible for Fortune 500 companies.

Conversating can certainly be an awesome differentiator if you can handle it.

But you should be relieved that with all you have to do in a day, you can get social media results without having to chat with Tom, Dick and Mary all day long.

Do it, it’s awesome, but it’s not required.

There was a great question about this on Facebook that I’m transfering here:

Doesn’t Facebook Edgerank favor comments and shares?

Edgerank favors all interaction, although you could argue they don’t favor clicks to other websites quite so much.

But in my studies of comparing interaction and visibility (both of specific FB pages and data across thousands of FB pages), likes are typically much more correlative to visibility than comments. Shares can generate a lot more views just because that’s what sharing does. If you want some more on this, read my ebook Contagious Content (produced by Marketo) and the discussions of the data within it.

But people are 8x more likely to LIKE than to comment or share. So it’s just easier to get LIKES and if that means more visibility, awesome!

And another important question is: if you generate conversation, are the type of people who converse more or less likely to buy? In some cases, talking is the opposite of purchasing. In cases where they are trying to resolve a purchasing decision, you can fix that with either customer support or content marketing that addresses the biggest questions customers have before buying. The latter is an advanced type of content marketing where you’ve created a grid of customer types and buying readiness, and created content to address each. Eloqua has an interesting post related to this.