How to Improve Your Success With Social Media

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How to Improve Your Success With Social Media

Many business owners ask the question “How do I calculate the ROI from social media?”

Social media doesn’t necessarily generate ’first hand‘ ROI: You may not get sales from huge social media exposure (or from any other media exposure, for that matter). In fact, most businesses won’t see a dollar from media exposure, online or off.

You have to take that exposure and do something with it. Just got 10,000 followers on Facebook? Great! But you won’t earn any money from the mere fact that you have 10,000 followers. You need to give them a reason to upgrade from passive followers to customers. Here are some tips on how to improve your success with social media.

It’s not me, it’s you

If you set up a Facebook page or group and build a fan base of 1,000-10,000 people, cool! Good for you! But, if you then let it sit there for three months, untouched, do not come whining to me that social media doesn’t generate ROI. You may not generate ROI, but social media is just fine, thank you.

The problem – your problem – is that you treated your social media audience as if they were standing in your store, or your office, or visiting your web site, the moment they became a fan or follower. That’s wrong.

Your social media audience is very similar to the audience you get if a newspaper writes about you, or a TV show mentions your product. They know who you are now. They’re waiting to hear from you – they’re waiting for you to bring them from the outer circle of people-who-are-lurking to the inner circle of people-who-are-buying.

How to reap second-hand ROI

There are a number of very specific things you can do to draw your social media audience in.


If you get a bunch of followers on Twitter, monitor them. Watch for when they ask questions about your specific product or about your industry. Also, watch for other times you can politely interject and help someone out.

On Facebook, do the same. If they’re bloggers, watch for relevant posts and leave comments. If the initial exposure was a blog post, monitor the comments.

You can use Google Reader or various other marketing software to do this, by the way.


Give people useful, thoughtful answers to their questions. For example, maybe you see a follower tweet something like “Man, I keep getting flat tyres on my bicycle.”

You could reply “Hey! Buy this kevlar-belted road tyre on my site!” and spam a link to them. Or, you could say “Here’s a review of 4 kevlar-belted road tyres that might help” and link to it. If you wrote the review, even better. If you didn’t, that’s OK.

Don’t just say “Buy my product. That’s the answer.” Answer their question. If someone is questioning your product, don’t get defensive. Ignore them, or give a factual reply.


Make sure your followers and fans know you appreciate their attention. Give ‘em a discount, or an exclusive early look. Or just give ‘em great information. Whatever you give them, make sure it’s clear this is just for them.

Offer to upgrade

Moving from social media audience member to customer will cost me money. You need to show me why that’s an upgrade, and that the value is in line with the cost.

You’ve got 1,000 new followers for your membership-only content site. They’re happy just hearing from you in their Facebook inbox. How can you get them to pay your subscription fee?

You’re going to need to demonstrate how much more information they can get by becoming a paying subscriber: Give them a free link to that one page on your site that answers the question they just asked. Now let them know they can get access to that great information any time for $9 a month.

Or, let everyone in your social media audience have free access to one layer of content, but not the rest. Let them decide whether to upgrade on their own. You can occasionally, politely ‘poke’ them about it, too.

Here’s another example: Your 1,000 followers know about your great bicycle shop. They know they can order online, too. But they don’t see the value in doing that, when they can get the same tire for $.59 less from their store on the corner.

OK, but bicycles that see regular use need periodic tune-ups, new tires, etc.. What if you let them pay a fee to receive the necessary replacement parts and a nice guide to doing their own tune-ups on a schedule? They can save the labour cost, and tick one thing off their to-do list since you’re handling the reminders. That’s an upgrade.

Remember, don’t be passive

Whatever you do, don’t be passive. Even if your on- or offline media exposure does generate sales, there’s a lot more where that came from. You need to listen, answer, reward and then upgrade for each member of your new audience.


Daniel Clark

Daniel Clark is a professional blogger who loves to write on numerous topics for fashion, shopping, beauty accessory and lifestyle inventions, etc.

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