Everyone likes to say how difficult it is to measure social media ROI, how social media is about conversations and long-term relationship building and so cannot be measured and quantified, especially since it takes so long to build social media relationships (just as it takes a long time to build trust in real life).
It’s true that social media is a process, and that trying to come up with hard numbers for social media ROI isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean that social media does not bring results – it just means that it does so in ways that are different than traditional marketing.
A recent client, for example, received an email from a person who has found them through their blog. The client is an online homeschool, and the email inquired about tuition for middle and high school students.
Another client, a market research expert, has received an invitation to speak at an important conference. The person who invited her has found her through her Twitter account.
A third client, a B2B company here in the Silicon Valley, has been chasing a lead for a long time now, using traditional methods such as emails and phone calls. Recently, a different person from the same company has reached out to my client through Twitter.
These are all recent, real-life examples, and they demonstrate that social media activities can create opportunities that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. In other words, while social media is perfect for strengthening your brand and as a lead nurturing tool, it can also work as a lead generation tool.
Social media is a process – a long process where you gradually build an online presence – and processes are hard because they take time and patience and vision, and people like immediate results. But social media does create important connections and exciting opportunities. It does so for me, and it does so for my clients.