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

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.


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.