(don’t ask about the picture, just admit it’s awesome!)
I know what you’re thinking, “Hey doesn’t this idiot run a social media consultancy?” Yes I do, I’m playing devil’s advocate here so play along!
Pretend you’re a social media consultant and I’m the CMO of a large company (or even a small one). I’m interested in the social media space and have had you come in to chat with me about what can be done. I’m interested but also very skeptical as to the value of social media from a business standpoint. Why am I skeptical and why am I having so much trouble seeing the business value from social media? Glad you asked!
- Why would I want to invest my money into social media when you can’t even identify what the ROI is from my investment? I have several marketing programs going on that I’m investing in. Each one of those programs has a specific dollar amount that is put in and a specific dollar amount that is generated aka ROI. In order to invest in social media I’m going to have to take money out of some of the programs that have already shown me a clear ROI and put it into something that you apparently can’t calculate the ROI from. Why do I want to do this?
- My company is already making money and has been profitable for the past 10 years without ever using social media, why should I start now?
- The average lifespan of a CMO is 2 years, by the time we build and internal social media structure, benchmark/create metrics, research, and then execute; I won’t be here anymore. Why do I want to approve a budget for something that I won’t be around for?
- Social media is really just a guessing game. Things are changing so quickly in the space that it’s impossible to know what’s going to work and what isn’t. I can’t take the risk of investing in something that has the potential to blow up in my face. It’s just not reliable.
- We can’t measure any real bottom line value from conversations that are taking place online. So what if the social media efforts are driving more eyeballs, clicks, or conversations. I need to invest in something that can actually make me money.
- The tools, metrics, and methods in the social media space are not consistent. I hear consultants talking about all sorts of things like “risk of ignoring” or the “social influence index,” what the hell does that mean? The industry can’t even agree with itself and I’m supposed to get involved? Maybe I’ll wait another year or 2.
- We’re a large international company and more of our audience probably exists offline then online, why should I be spending my money on online activities?
So Mr. social media consultant, convince me. Why should I be investing in social media? Can you answer any or all of the above questions? Have any other questions you want to add?