Warning: U R Contaminating Your Marketing Pool!

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressIn the everyday race for place and space in the online social marketing world, many business owners are getting caught up in the quicksand of believing that pure numbers equal ROI (return on investment).  In truth, watching the numbers add up can be a natural high that screams from the Academy Awards podium Sally Fields style, “You like Me, You Really like Me.”  Dazzling lights and little golden statues aside, let’s really evaluate those numbers and how they convert into actual marketing numbers for your business.

Many business owners suffer the frustrating feeling of exhausting even more of their time trying to tip toeing through the learning curve and sift through the techno-geek language barrier constructed around each social media forum.  For example, how long does it take for you to learn to “RT your @tweeps about #quote” or “hit your tweeples with a shout out to your new twit @MagicUSA on #followfriday”?  Insane yet?  Multiply that by the number of social media networks in the known universe and becoming a hermit with a dog in Florida on the beach will seem like a good idea!

What is worse than the multitude of social media that the average business owner tries to participate in during a given week is the amount of time invested without measuring the results.  Now, if you are shaking your head and pointing at that little number spinning like the meter on a gas pump, then bad news is about to enter your world:  UR contaminating your marketing pool!

For years, everyone has been taught that electronic marketing is about gaining the largest group of people to send a massive email to on a regular basis in hopes that 1% of those people will buy your product, ask for your services, or move on to whatever the next step is in the marketing plan.

NOTE:  YOU MUST HAVE A MARKETING PLAN…on paper…with marketing options for “what ifs.”  This is a truth of every business no matter what industry.  If you don’t have a marketing plan, stop reading now and get one!  I will wait.

Now, back to the discussion at hand—Old drip marketing theory stated that having thousands of people in your marketing pool to blast out electronic materials was the key to success.  The marketing measure of ROI lists around 1% with 3-5 touches.  Without a calculator and nothing up my marketing sleeves, it is easy to see that the numbers run at about 10 conversions for every 1000 and 50 for every 5000 opt-ins.  The reality would “seem” to be that more equals better sales right?  Wrong.  This rule only holds true with a properly niche market that understands and desires the product.

In social media marketing, this widely missed marketing point equates to the big uh-oh for ROI.  When the rule of niche marketing is applied to 10,000 opt-ins, the results would seem to be 100 actives as a ROI; however, the reality is that because the niche marketing pool of interested and invested potentials is diluted significantly the 1% conversion rate drop dramatically almost off of the measurable ROI chart.

There is a bonus round for contaminating your marketing pool called the Law of Diminishing Returns.  The realistic problem that most business owners encounter in social media marketing using forums like Twitter, Facebook, and Squidoo is learning to use the social media in such a way that they are accepted by the group.  This takes lots of time.  Every business owner has just made the ultimate conversion without the need for a ROI calculator.  Yes…time is money!  So, when you spend two hours twittering and gain a ton of followers without any sign ups for a FREE offer or your newsletter, consider how you are truly investing your hard earned time.  If, on the other hand, 5000 people sign up for your newsletter, but none of them are in your market segmentation and do not convert to sales, then you are contaminating your marketing pool with uninterested parties.

Here are four fast ways to pump up the volume on your target niche marketing pool without contamination:

  • Set Your Goals.  Know what you want to achieve by having a presence on any social network.  Are you looking for recognition?  Opt-ins?  Visits to your website?  Whatever your goal might be, if you do not establish it now, then you will not be able to accurately measure your ROI.  Worse, when you are spending time building networks that add followers in the thousands, then you will have a false sense of accomplishment and a warm, fuzzy feeling that your marketing plan is working.
  • Time Management.  The biggest misconception about social media is that you are not spending any money to advertise or display company good.  The investment of time in the management and daily interaction with social media connections, followers, and friends is transparent; however, it has to be counted in the marketing ROI because time is money for any sized business.  Whether up-keeping a large company profile or providing simple outreach from a small business owner to a potential client, the expenditure of three hours a day twittering is valid and real to the bottom line.  A good ROI formula for gauging marketing investment is:
  1. For Service Oriented Businesses—Time (hrs. per week) spent on all social media (times) hourly charge for standard services.
    Example:  14 hours a week (2 hours per day) (times) $50 per hour = $700 a week, $2,800 a month, or $36,400 a year!
  2. For Product Oriented Businesses—Number of product sold in a week (times) price point of product (divided by) number of hours spent on social media.
    Example:  15 ebooks per week  (times)  $20 each (divided by) 14 hours of social media marketing = around $21 per hour.  Now backtrack, if your time expenditure is $21 per hour and you spent 14 hours doing social media, then you made less than $1 this week.

In each case, realizing the investment in a social media campaign in term of dollars helps to bring business owners a realistic picture of their ROI.  And the beat goes on!

  • Social Media Savvy.  At this point, most business owners are disgusted with even the mere mention of using social media to further their marketing efforts.  Before you ditch all of your social media marketing efforts, here is the point at which we get down the meat and potatoes of WHY and HOW social networking can help businesses succeed without contaminating a marketing pool.  Ready?  Invest your time in social networking and social media marketing that targets your specific audience.  Ideally, incorporating social media into your marketing plan is not an IF statement.  Without doubt, social media and network can give you outreach to potential clients that would cost mega dollars in other venues; however, remember the earlier statement about a marketing plan?  Here is where the plan becomes a reality.

Every good marketing plan will include several elements like goals, target audience, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and distribution plan.  The key to social media marketing, at this stage, is to successfully identify your target audience and reach toward those people in your social network most affected by your message.  In short, if your target audience is women who are mothers, then your general target audience on any social network, like Twitter, should be women who are mothers with the same goals.  Even more to the point, if your target audience is career women, then use specific career women oriented forums to build a network.

  • Spend Time on Success.  Once you have built a strong social network with a base of followers, interact with them using strong information that will benefit their business or life.  Constantly trying to sell someone something is the quickest way to lose followers.  With a modest investment in time in your targeted marketing niche networks, your network will grow as others seek you out for information and recommend you to their followers.  The most important thing to remember is that social networking is an investment in time and money.  So, when you find your tweeps, invest in them and give them a reason in tweet about you!

Any business owner will readily agree that they would rather have 50 hot leads than 1000 cold leads. With these tips, business owners will be able to make the most of out of their efforts to participate in social media and build a robust following in every social platform.

Most of all, know when to say when!  If you need help or it becomes too costly for you to maintain your social media network, then find a marketing company that specializes in social media marketing or a VA that will help you.  The intelligent choice is not whether or not to commit to a plan of social media marketing.  The real choice what is the best way to plan a social media campaign that does not waste your time and jeopardize your ROI!  This is the way to work smarter…not harder!

Tweet’cha later.  Feel free to catch up with me @MagicUSA!


About marketinggoddess

I live to market...its really that easy. Making the magic of that "Ah ha" moment happen for each business that I work with...second best th

Posted on March 16, 2009, in Advertising, Blogging, Business, eMarketing, Niche Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Some great information here and some intresting points, look forward to reading more

  2. Mike–Thank you for stopping by…come back when you can! ~~Dee

  3. Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

  4. Hi Diana, Great article title – saw it on linkedin. Got me to your blog so something is working – if blog traffic was your goal that is! Quantifying time spent is a smart way to look at social networking. I’m always looking to learn. Oh oh, just spent $20 so gotta go!

  5. Ronnie–As you know, I work with many coaches to develop long range marketing that includes viable measurement structures. My goal was not blog traffic. You can find my articles all over the web. My goal was distribution. 8) Here in is the understanding of the marketing plan. It reached you. Goal achieved. Reach those who need to understand how to measure their ROI on social media! Thank you for the $20 investment. I hope that you received thousands of $$$ in return! ~~Dee

  6. Thank you for this refeshing perspective! And could not be better timed for me personally. Today I was just toying with the fact that to get the most from my social media apps I would need to come up with an extra two days per week. You’re right, my blog stats may provide a temporary moment of glee – but my ego doesn’t pay the bills!

  7. Deborah–

    True. We all want to feel the love of instant acceptance. That is part of why social media can be so dangerous to marketing. Transparency mixed with acceptance does not = good ROI.

    Good for you to take an honest look. Sounds like you were starting to evaluate this already.


  8. I really enjoyed your article and it was just what I needed as well. I have been a linkedin member for 4 days (total novice) and really like this concept. And absolutely agree about ROI on social media. I will be keeping up with your generous and wise Blogs.
    Yours in Creating a Better Life!

  9. Kelly,

    Be sure you read the Six Steps to Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn post a few posts back. Want you to make the most of every opportunity!

    As you keep a tight understanding of your ROI, you will start to see where your marketing $$$ go! Good luck and let me know if you have question.


  10. I think this is an extremely relevant perspective. In recognizing one’s time as an expense, we acknowledge that our time is a valuable commodity. I feel this is a sign that as a professional society we value our health and well being along side with achieving financial success. Great points that can be applied to finding life balance as well.

    Refreshing. Thanks.

  11. Jackie,

    This balance is vital to the wellbeing of each person as well as those around us. When we do not value our time, then we can only waste it. Thank you for reading! ~~Dee

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