I thought that half of the readings this week were trying to force a number onto something that couldn’t necessarily be computed. The other half was like a story that found its footing at the end and turned in two of my favorite articles of the semester. As a storyteller, it will be my job of telling you the “facts” of the supposed monetary value of social media first before I dive into the longstanding effects social media on your personal life.
Mashable basically told me that in order to gain measurable return on investment or ROI, you need to be personable and interact with the audience. It’s a concept that’s basically been beaten to death in the last 10+ weeks, if you don’t please your audience, your product suffers. Also being fake and not having great content hinders your ability to sell. Tell me something I don’t know yet. I feel like what they are doing with this article is just recapping everything we’ve learned into one compact place and it didn’t really have an effect or give me an epiphany moment. If this were the story’s introduction, I would have stopped reading already.
Sales Force Marketing Cloud wrote an article that could have easily been titled “Social Media Fundraising 101” because knowing what I know now from my time in this program, I could’ve deduced all of those tips if I wanted to create a fundraising campaign. These tips can also be handy when running a business, so I don’t necessarily think that it needed to be just about fundraising. I was looking for something to jump out at me and convince me that there’s something unique about this approach, but there wasn’t. Now that I think about it, the article could have been titled “How to Market Anything You Want Using Social Media”, because these tips should come into play 100% of the time.
Now for the more redeemable conclusion to ROI story, there’s no singular way to do it says Raven Tools. I swear Courtney Seiter, who wrote this article, went into my brain pulled out exactly what I wanted to say about ROI. Don’t set impossible goals or try to do math that makes your head hurt. Do what you do best on social media and the results will please you. I completely understand and agree with her stance that as journalists we need the answers. But as a critic, where I come up with my own answers and nobody else’s, this notion of do what you do best really speaks to me. E!, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone are three of my favorite brands, but all of them have completely different approaches to social media and they’re all successful. Everyone has a different voice and personality and shouldn’t be told that they have to do it one way to excel.
My other favorite article this week, for completely different reasons, was The Atlantic’s piece on how social media is helping, not hurting, the most important investment of all which is the human relationship. I want to show this to all the naysayers of social media, shake them and tell them to join this century. Playing devil’s advocate here, I hate when you’re trying to have a face-to-face conversation and they can’t put the phone down. But, that’s just one instance where I don’t think social media benefits a person in the long run. There are few occasions where I outwardly pimp my brand, the Social Roller, or use my disability to prove a point, but when other people do that for me, it makes me happy. I would not be getting a master’s degree right now if it weren’t for social media. I think being able to use Facebook and Twitter (among others) can help me become a better journalist and a better marketer because it gives me the access to human contact that I sometimes rarely get without the help of my parents or city transportation. Social media helped me immensely when I was in the hospital for several weeks unable to attend school, I would have gone crazy without it. In short, social media is my life saver and no amount of money can come close to the ROI I have received in being an active social media user.
What are your thoughts on social media ROI: can it be calculated and should it be calculated?
Did you learn anything new or helpful about ROI in the articles by Mashable or Sales Force Marketing Cloud?