The ROI of Social Networking

The ROI of Social Networking

The ROI of Social Networking

By John Jantsch

meetupOne of the most common reason stated by small businesses for not embracing social networking is that they can’t measure or, worse yet, don’t believe there is any solid return on the investment of participation. I get emails almost daily from frustrated marketers who want to dive more fully into social networking, but can’t convince the boss that it’s worth it.

My response to the ROI roadblock is this – How does your boss measure the ROI of attending Chamber mixers, participating in Associations, and dropping in on networking luncheons? Done correctly, social networking on sites like Facebook is really no different – you don’t measure participation based on direct sales, you measure success based on identifying one potential strategic partner, acquiring one actionable bit of advice, or striking up a conversation or two that may eventually lead to developing a new customer. That kind of sounds like a set of solid networking objectives doesn’t it?

Of course this line of thinking assumes that you have identified a set of objectives for your offline networking, which often is not the case. But, the primary point here is to align digital networking with face to face networking and then create a set of objectives and subsequent strategies and tactics to get the most from both. But, job one is to wrap your head around social networking as, just that, networking.

Now, with job one out of the way, you’ve also got to tackle something I alluded to earlier – “done correctly, social networking on sites like Facebook is really no different” – this is where the boss is really coming from when they say there’s no ROI. So many people see social networking as a 24/7, hang out all day excuse for a job – and it can easily become that if you don’t identify and state objectives. You could also quite easily hang out at every at every networking event or meetup, join unrelated trade groups, and sponsor the local knitting club. (which would only be good if you sell yarn)

By identifying and clearly stating your objectives for social network participation (objectives not unlike those of participating in your local Chamber) you can more easily identify the networks that make sense, the type of engagement you need to create, and, most importantly, how much time and energy you can afford to invest to reach your objectives.

When you think strategically about all forms of networking the ROI picture becomes much clearer.

Image credit: AurelioZen

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Order your copy of
The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

by John Jantsch

“A book that deserves a spot in every entrepreneur’s morning routine.”
—Ryan Holiday, #1 Bestselling Author of The Daily Stoic and The Obstacle is the Way


Convince & Convert Social Pros Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs need daily inspiration to find the creativity they need to run and market their business. In his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, John Jantsch turns to the past for inspiration. He’s gathered quotes from famous mid 19th-Century authors who were part of the transcendentalist movement, and he’s applied their writings to aspects of the […]
5 Social Media Lessons Gleaned from a New SMB Study
Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Frank Strong, director of Public Relations, Vocus – Enjoy! There is no shortage of social media advice.  Unfortunately, much of it is often at odds, conflicting and even confusing. For example, consider scheduling tweets.  A quick Google search will return […]

Subscribe to the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.