Before we talk about ROI: 2 Simple Rules

There has been an overwhelming amount of interest with regards to my post on Return on Interaction being the new ROI. Thank you all for your emails, and Tweets! With that said I felt it was only right to really set-the-stage about social media and a simple set of rules on how to start formulating your strategy. Think of this article as the technique section of social media from which you can start thinking about potential and desired ROI.

Below is a slide from my social media presentation to NASA.

Social Network Proper Usage

Social Network Proper Usage

‘Much like toilet paper, proper usage is important….it keeps us out of messy situations.’ If we cannot first start thinking of the things that social networks are and are not for, we cannot find success, nor can we set goals and achieve a risk appropriate ROI in the CURRENT landscape of social media. So here are a two rules to live by.

1. Chinese Food and Hamburgers Before you do anything on a social network, consider what interaction you want to have with a potential customer. But make sure that it is an interaction that is social network appropriate.

My favorite analogy for driving this point home revolves around the weird recurrence of hamburgers on Chinese restaurant menus. Much like a Chinese restaurant, when a social network displays content that does not belong, the likelihood that a customer will engage on that out-of-place content diminishes greatly. So when you are at a Chinese restaurant, you are most likely in the mood to eat Chinese food. You are NOT there to eat the hamburger. And speaking from experience, if the user does in fact order the burger, they WILL be disappointed!

So let’s bring this back to the world of social media. When patrons of social networks are sitting there compulsively clicking ‘refresh’ on their browser because they want to know what their friends are up to on Mob Wars, they are not looking to ‘add to cart’ a product. They are looking for the Chinese food of their experience. They are looking to fan, friend, or follow. Remember that….fan, friend, follow.

2. Social Content vs Real Content So the first step is done. You have convinced yourself and your peers not to post inappropriate an non-actionable content on your social media presence. The second rule to apply to your strategy is to distinguish what voice your content is in. Simply put there are two categories for your content: Social and Real.

Real content is defined as content you can use to sell a product without getting sued. That desk on Ikea’s website costs $259 and has the dimensions of blah-x-blah. This ‘real’ information is the stuff that is factual and for a lack of better terms, real.

Social content is defined as content that is conversational and sharable in nature. It has less to do with the specifications of something and more to do with the emotive and incentive based ideas behind a product.

Still confused? Type in ‘sham wow’ on both and search fields. You should see the difference between product specs and product sentiments.

Conclusion So next time you are facing the ROI talk, first step back and ask yourself two questions. Am I communicating with social network appropriate offerings? And am I operating in a content bucket that is easily digestible on a social network?

1 comment

  1. Hi,

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the great work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.


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