- December 30, 2013
- 11 Comments
Guest Post by Jaap Favier, managing partner of The Small Circle
What is the secret of bars? Why do we happily pay four times as much for beer in a bar as in a store? We pay this brand premium to be with friends. The secret of bars is that they convert our quality time into cash. Like bars, social media are places where friends meet. The best social media programs also convert the consumer’s social time into a brand premium, reaching a return on investment (ROI) up to four times as high as the ROI of a TV commercial.
I often write about enterprise organizations and global brands…essentially big businesses. This is the first in a series dedicated to small businesses.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media strategy is that only the big brands and enterprise organizations can afford success. The impression is bigger businesses have unlimited resources, people and budgets to execute on all new ideas. This is simply not true. Like in anything, people are focused on their jobs as they exist and anything new that comes along, well, it’s met with prejudice.
I recently presented at Microstrategy’s iCommerce Summit in Amsterdam on the importance of looking inside to improve how to engage on the outside. Following the event, I was invited to join Peter Gentsch of Big, Michael Buck of Dell, and Andreas Bock of Telekom. The conversation explored the importance of rethinking how businesses approach social media. Rather than driving social media strategies based on just clever ideas, campaigns, soft KPIs, and intangible results, I shared the importance of focusing on the bigger picture. At stake is nothing less than not only the future of social media in your organization, but more importantly, how decision makers recognize and value relationships throughout the customer life cycle.
I’m writing this post while visiting Antwerp, Belgium as part of the Social Business Sessions I’m hosting along with The Fusion Marketing Experience. While here, I had an opportunity to spend time with several Belgian journalists. One of the notable conversations was with Erik Verdonck of Pub, a local magazine focused on the advertising industry. The three themes we touched upon are not only timely, but representative of the challenges that face marketers and strategists around the globe.
I recently had the privilege of presenting at the GDOL Digital Talkfest in Istanbul. The focus of the event was very much in line with my current work. GDOL tracks the new generation of consumers who do everything online and the impact they now have on popular culture, society and ultimately business. I refer to this generation as Generation-C.
Vincenzo Cosenza is a new media strategist living in Italy who has over the years, designed some of the industry’s most comprehensive infographics on social media’s global footprint. Recently, he asked if I would write the foreword for his new book, Social Media ROI. And, as I’m a fan of his work, it was an easy decision. As usual however, I asked for permission to share it with you here and his publisher agreed. This is the only place where you can read this in English…
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
- Albert Einstein
Say hello to my little friends, R.O. & I.
Yes. Return on investment have become the bane of an entire new media industry. However, avoidance is not the answer.
While the question of “what’s the R.O.I. of social media” is difficult to answer, it is necessary as it forces us to dig deeper. The result is maturity.
If you’re reacting, someone else defines what you’re going to do, rather than defining what people need to do.
Your businesses faces great change. This statement is true about customers, competitors, and everyone else affecting market behavior. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
ROI is as popular an acronym in social media as OMG or LOL are in TXTING. No matter how much you believe in social media, the reality is that management needs to know, what’s the ROI of Tweets in “the” Twitter or Likes in “that” Facebook thing that all the kids are talking about? Kidding aside, the future of social media within your organization and the value your customers experience in their networks of relevance is in your hands.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.