Social Media ROI

Yesterday I wrote a post on taking action. The point was that it is very easy to get caught up in endless discussions about how and why to execute a new marketing strategy instead of just doing it. Of course you want to make informed decisions but in many cases deliberation is the enemy of progress.

Social media tools are new but the concept is as old as marketing itself. It’s nothing more than good old-fashioned networking amplified by Internet technology. Customer service. Relationship building. Communication. That’s it.

Businesses often fear new technology. The impulse is to sit on the sidelines waiting for proof that something works. Unfortunately, waiting for someone else to prove a particular strategy or tactic works often means that you’ve missed the opportunity to capitalize on it.

The fact is that many businesses are not only using social media but they are using it profitably. They are trying new things and reaping the rewards of early adoption. They are putting in the time and the effort and they are succeeding because of it.

Want to know what taking action looks like? Still looking for proof that social media isn’t just a bunch of people sharing what they had for lunch? Take a look at this:

Taking Action

Taking Action.LeapOver and over I’ve heard the old adage that knowledge is power. It’s a philosophy that has served me well.

I am that guy that is constantly listening to educational CD’s and news programming in the car. And if I’m not meeting a client for lunch you can bet that I will be sitting alone somewhere reading a book or magazine on business, marketing or technology. One of my biggest pet peeves is being stranded somewhere i.e. an airport, restaurant, hotel lobby etc. with nothing to read.

Acquiring knowledge has always been enjoyable for me and for the longest time I believed that it was enough to propel me forward.

Now that I am old enough to have some decent life experience however I have come to the realization that knowledge alone is relatively useless, and in some cases even detrimental, unless it is accompanied by action.

It’s not like this is some profound revelation. It’s obvious. But I can tell you that the number one reason businesses suffer from slow growth or stagnation is a lack of the will to take action.

Due to the nature of my job I constantly come into contact with people searching for ways to improve their businesses. They want more traffic, increased sales, more leads, bigger margins and steady, predictable growth. Ambition is rarely an issue. Taking action almost always is.

Notice that I didn’t say that spending money is the biggest obstacle. Sure, there are plenty of people that are unable or afraid to spend money to solve problems but, again, this is not the nearly as prevalent as the lack of will to take action.

Here’s the deal. The entire world of marketing has changed dramatically in recent years. Actually, the more accurate statement would be: The entire world of what works in marketing has changed dramatically in recent years.

I could go on for days about things like inbound vs. outbound, push vs. pull, flipping funnels, permission marketing and social media but perhaps the most relevant point for business owners is this: You can no longer expect satisfactory results from the strategies and tactics that used to work and the strategies and tactics that work now require a lot more action on your part.

This is a hard pill for many business owners to swallow. Most of them are used to delegating marketing tasks to internal marketing people, advertising agencies or both and then having those people come back with a nicely produced series of ads to run on TV or in a trade magazine.

The budget is approved, the advertising is purchased and then everyone sits back and waits for sales to spike. Problem is – they rarely do anymore.

The new key to success in marketing is value creation. You must give before you get and the giving almost always comes down to creating great content. Publishing content is a lot of work and here’s the rub – you can’t outsource it. At least not all of it. If you do, you’re very likely going to end up with bland, uninspired content that will not be interesting or useful to your customers.

The new world of marketing requires action on the part of everyone involved. If you want to make exponential leaps in lead generation, sales, customer retention and other key metrics, people in your organization must learn to take action by participating reliably in the content creation process.

  • This means that the CEO doesn’t start a blog unless she can commit to creating the content on a set schedule.
  • This means that you don’t start a Twitter account unless you have a content strategy led by key marketers in your organization.
  • This means that you don’t start a newsletter unless you intend to treat it like it like a primary marketing vehicle and commit to producing it consistently, reliably and in perpetuity.
  • This means that you don’t leave the content creation process to interns and entry-level staff.
  • This means that you devote as many resources to actively listening to your customers as you do to talking/selling to them.
  • This means that you do not start a campaign unless you build in a tracking methodology and commit to vigorously monitoring the results.
  • This means that, come hell or high water, you take the time to write the ebook, produce the videos, record the audio or publish the articles that will become your primary source of new business leads.

Knowledge is free and widely available. Anyone with an Internet connection can go online and find out what they need to do to succeed in marketing or any other area of life. But no matter how much knowledge you absorb, you’re never going to get anywhere without taking action.

Chances are, you are spending too much time reading, thinking and talking about how to succeed and not enough time actually doing the things that are going to get you there. I see it constantly when working with clients and I catch myself doing it all the time as well. It’s a pervasive problem that affects nearly everyone including the most successful and intelligent leaders among us.

I can tell you from experience that breakthroughs happen when people start taking action without fear or regret. If you’ve been searching for ways to improve your business (or your life) just start taking the steps. Walk the walk. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Don’t even worry about failing. Just start by committing and taking action. It’s way more satisfying than just coming up with ideas that never see the light of day.

Become an Insider

Sign up today to receive Contact Media’s FREE e-newsletter, The Contact Media Insider, packed with powerful and proven “insider secrets” to increase response rates, generate more leads, and turn your marketing into a profit center.

Your email address will never be shared, and you can opt-out at the touch of a button.