The elusive ROI of social media. It’s a tough nut to crack.
Facebook has over 800 million active users.
But does the mammoth social network convert into customers for business?
Actually, quite the contrary. Research from DDB found that 84% of consumers that “like” a company Facebook page are current customers. This passes the sniff test when you think about how you use Facebook personally. We “like” what we like. Facebook “liking” is just digital bumper stickering, and you express support for the companies and organizations in which you believe. Thus, Facebook is particularly good at staying top-of-mind among existing/past customers, and turning them into brand advocates, not just passive buyers.
~ Jay Baer, Convince & Convert
I wouldn’t say it’s instrumental, but it can be done. My experience with Facebook has largely been through their paid advertising program. The key thing to keep in mind with Facebook is that people are not in buying mode when they’re on the site. They’re there for social reasons and to be entertained so sending FB traffic straight to a sales page typically doesn’t work well. You have to capture their attention, entertain them, romance them a bit and then lead up to the sale.
~ Adam Kreitman, Words That Click
Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc are much better networking channels than direct sales channels. This is why the C-level starched shirts don’t want to commit. It’s very difficult to measure the ROI on these efforts. As a business owner I know that networking with other people generates revenue for my company. I don’t spend a bunch of effort trying to determine the ROI of joining my local Chamber of Commerce. Part of being a business owner, is being social and channels like Facebook provide a virtual, 24/7 environment for networking with others.
~ Russ Henneberry, Tiny & Mighty Media
The main benefit I see from Facebook is linking the company blog to the Facebook page in order to drive traffic and increase conversations with prospects. Facebook is very conversational, so it’s a great place to interact with current and potential customers.
~ Joseph Putnam, BlogTweaks
In my experience, Facebook works best when it’s used as a traffic channel to support specific advertising campaigns. Just setting up a facebook page and hoping it drives traffic back to your site usually doesn’t work very well.
~ Naomi Niles, ShiftFWD
I’ve picked up a few clients on Facebook, but it’s not my primary focus. However engaging with your people, building rapport and increasing awareness of your brand is never a bad thing when it comes to driving sales.
~ Cori Padgett, Big Girl Branding
As always, the answer is that it depends on what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, and so forth. All things being equal, though, I’d say that no – Facebook is a social environment, and while it can (not necessarily will, but can) create a lot of awareness about what you’re doing, it’s not a great place to make a sale. Which is fine – business isn’t always about immediate sales – but recognize it for what it is.
~ Danny Iny, Firepole Marketing
The methods we recommend are consistency (posting 4 – 7 times per week), posting relevant information about your industry, posting information of interest to your audience’s lives, offering Facebook only specials to fans, asking questions (this prompts your fans to engage), and don’t forget to throw in a bit of fun and wit! When fans comment or share your posts, continue the conversation and comment back. Also, utilize Facebook Events as a marketing tool to not only invite your fans to workshops, seminars and community activities (show that you are a good citizen), but also to announce new products or services, welcome aboard new employees, and whatever other creative ideas your wonderful brain may bring to you.
All of this can go a long way in getting your name out there, showing off who you are and what you offer, and raising your “Like-ability” factor to turn Fans into Clients!
~Mich Hancock, 100th Monkey Media
How about you? Do you see a direct relationship between Facebook and sales? Is it more of an indirect effect? Or, are you in the “Facebook is a waste of time” camp?
Either way, we would love to hear your thoughts.