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Social Media Management | 19 May 2020

How to Achieve Social Media Return on Investment in 2021

Social Media ROI

From 45% conversion rates, 10X ad returns to million-dollar sales and full-funnel attribution. Since our beginning back in 2013, the only measure for us was revenue attribution and performance.

In a world of brand builders, we choose to be revenue drivers. As you might suspect our focus in this area, naturally aligned with clients pursuing the same goal.

When the world fell apart in March of 2020, we achieved 69K of sales with a budget of $7k. We helped a client close a seven-figure deal, and continued to move forward with our client base. Yes I know it sounds like we are bragging, but it is not bragging if it is true.

The world has changed, but our focus has not if anything it has intensified.
Social or digital media ROI has never been optional for us, or our clients. But now it is not optional for everyone. Everything just went online, and we will see the most significant shift since digital media began.

Having your digital marketing strategy right has never been more critical.
Pain drives change, and there are a lot of brands in pain. If you are a CEO, Marketing Director, CMO or in a revenue responsibility role, you are now painfully aware of gaps in your digital strategy.

What will differentiate you from everyone else now, will be your ability to close that gap and maintain your revenue line.

I stated back in 2017 that if you don't learn how to achieve social media ROI, it is going to result in the end of your business. Hello, 2020, who knew! Some will say Bill Gates, but that is a whole other story.

Measuring your social media return and knowing how to is intrinsically aligned to the growth of your brand.

None of this is helping answer the above question, though, of how you achieve social media ROI. And while we have evolved from a pure-play social media agency to a growth agency, our roots are deeply entrenched in social media.

And should you wish to achieve social media ROI there are three things you must know and must do!

The foundation is as follows.

1. The platform 2. Standing Out 3. Audience

The Platform

Social Media Platform

The platform just means you are marketing to the right platform at the right time, and of course, with the right message.

You understand that irrespective of the network the right platform (medium) is the mobile.

People looking at their phones and transacting online is the new normal. It has been for a while, but this just intensified dramatically.
One in 3 online minutes is on the mobile phone.

Facebooks and Google's algorithm prioritise your content if it performs better on the mobile platform. Yes, it is a fact, as is the faster your website loads, the better your ads will do. So many brands disregard this is optional. Not in 2021.

On Facebook alone, 9 out of 10 million Australians access Facebook every day via the mobile phone. And for Facebook or Google to provide the user with a good experience, your content needs to perform well on the mobile device. If not they will prioritise someone else's content which does.
And that someone else just might be your closest competitor, who understand the digital or social media platforms better than you.

There are now 16.69 million smartphones in operation in Australia. There are currently 3.5 billion smartphones worldwide. Back in 2018, e-marketer predicted that there would be 2.87 billion.

It is no longer the second screen. Consumers are spending 5 hours a day on their mobile devices. While an Adweek study discovered a 88% growth year over a year watching videos on a smartphone.

So if that is the platform to market to, how does one stand out? I am glad you asked.

You see every brand has now joined the game, and it is a game not everyone can win.

Standing out

Social Media Advertising

Stop! I do mean it, stop and think about this next statement for a second.

You have 800 milliseconds for the consumer to pay attention to your ads.

So if you want to capture their attention, you need to be bold. You do this by not creating ads that look like your competitors or every other advertiser on the platform. They must be unique in their own right, and clearly articulate your message, and your value.

The average consumer sees 5,000 ads per day. This does not take into account the social posts they see from family and friends. And it is within this volume of messaging that you need to engage the consumer emotionally and intellectually. Creating a bias for them to take action.

From a recent FMRI study, it was shown that the consumer's first response is of emotional nature. This occurs within 800 milliseconds of them seeing your image/video and copy.

At the one second point, they will start to process what your message means to them intellectually, and if they will take any action!

But your race against time does not stop there. From a Microsoft consumer study in the Canadian market, you have as little as 8 seconds from this point onwards to drive a deeper interaction.

With the average consumer now dropping to 8 seconds, from a previous 12. Yes, less than a goldfish at 9 seconds.

Achieving social media ROI eludes the majority of advertisers. As your starting to understand if you are not aware of the foundational building blocks, and how to measure them. Then quite simply you are out to sea.
Should you achieve the first two positions "the right platform" and "the right message." Facebook, Instagram's, LinkedIn and Google's algorithm will reward you.

It is a mutually beneficial relationship. They provide the audience, you provide the content, and if the audience likes the content, the platform likes you. The goal of any social or digital platform is to increase user time and the number of users.

If your content helps them achieve this goal, then your brand will be rewarded.

To put this, simply a good ad with good engagement costs less than a bad one.

You are not paying for a "time" slot; you pay more for bad advertising. And what a lesson to learn.

So yes, your ads must be good to achieve social or digital media ROI. And after all, is this not what you want? You see data is answering the question in real-time as to whether your ad is any good at all.

Initially, you may not like the story data is telling you, but how else are you going to improve your advertising. How else are you going to achieve digital or social media ROI?

The third and final piece of the puzzle is:

Your Target Audience

Social Media Audience

Yes, to achieve social media ROI, you need to target the right audience at the right time. From a Google study back in 2015, it stated that:

"69% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company's message influences their perception of a brand."

In essence, if you are targeting the right audience at the right time, you have a 7 in 10 chance of influencing their decision making. Not bad odds are they?
But how deep are you going to understand your consumer's needs? Do you know what the trends are post COVID19? From social streaming to virtual companies, we are moving at the speed of digital. Understanding these trends, your persona, and your brand provides a window in to begin the conversation.

Targeting the right audience on social of digital is paramount to achieving social media ROI. And when you do target the right audience, you want to educate them, enable them, and inspire them.

Your story matters, but the narrative must include lessons, experiences and emotions.

Facebook and Google will tell you once again through data if you are targeting the right audience. From quality score on Google to quality, engagement, and conversion rate ranking on a Facebook ad.

The simplest measure of this being what is our ROI. If you spend $7k are you returning 70k, or are you returning $5k?

In 2021 you have all the data and insights you need to achieve digital or social media ROI. You just need to know how to fit these pieces together or have a guide that can help you do so.

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By Mathew Slavica
19 May 2020

Founder Digital Stand. We are a Sydney social media agency working with enterprise clients and disruptive brands. We bring clarity to social media and help you become effective fast.

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