Yup, you read that correctly – someone in the agency business is telling you to avoid social media.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against social or what it can bring to the table as a marketing tool. After all, there are over 500,000 registered Facebook users in the state of New Hampshire alone. I just believe doing social media without a plan to identify the return on investment is not an effective use of anyone’s time.

Some people break out into a cold when they hear “social media” and “ROI” in the same sentence – but the fact is it’s bad business to do it because everyone else is doing it. A good social media strategy requires a plan, great content and traceable success measures. Here are a few things to do before even considering a social media marketing plan:

  1. Look at your website’s Google Analytics. Your company website is arguably the most important marketing tool at your disposal. Before embarking on any online marketing it’s a good practice to analyze the health of your company website to ensure you are not already letting prospects slip through undetected. Look at the historical analytics data to identify improvements that need to be made. Ensure a great user experience by determining:
    • Is the bounce rate too high (over 45%)?
    • Are users spending less than a minute on your site?
    • How many pages are they viewing per session?
    • How long does your website take to load? (3 seconds max)
  2. Add access points to your website. Maintaining a strong flow of prospects is an important part of every business. Chances are your website already gets dozens, hundreds or even thousands of visits per week. Add strategic conversion points across your website that invite users to pick up the phone, fill out a form or send an email. This data is the lifeblood of your future business.
  3. Make a commitment to content. Online content is the fuel that feeds the online marketing and social machine. Helpful content designed to help your prospective customers will position you as a thought leader, help you get found on web searches and convert more website leads. A content marketing strategy will also allow you to focus on content that will produce leads at all levels of the buying process and introduce a sales funnel to help you nurture these leads into customers.

Once these tasks are complete we have the tools in place to start tracking leads and putting a monetary value on them for ROI. We’ll just need to know the average close rate for converting leads to customers and what value a new customer has on your business.

Okay… NOW you can do social.