Tag Archive: ROI


Before I begin to review Rachel Strella’s latest webinar, I must begin by saying how influential Rachel has been to my career.  I first met her at this year’s Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University.  Since then, I have used the things that I have learned from Rachel to help my career in such ways that I can’t even explain.  Rachel is an amazing speaker and takes the time to answer the many questions that I’ve had in the time we have known each other.  Thanks so much Rachel!

Since I work with many small businesses, I feel that this webinar spoke to me in ways that will not only help me, but my clients as well.  I want the focus of my business to be helping small businesses understand the importance of social media and comprehend the power and short-falls of the medium.  This webinar allowed me to have a firm grasp on how I can help small businesses employ social media strategies for their benefit.

Rachel discussed four major shortcomings for small businesses:  time, resources, money, and social media knowledge.  I’d like to take the time to discuss each of these in regards to the businesses I work with.  Time is a major issue for small businesses, mainly because many owners of small businesses find themselves “wearing many hats” as Rachel puts it.  Small business owners often are accountants, salespeople, social media editors, marketing managers, and many other jobs that they simply cannot afford to hire people to do.  This can be a major problem for them.

Resources also are also at a minimum for small business owners.  While many view resources as money; time, knowledge and even lack of employees would certainly also fall under this category.  For this entry, we will consider resources and money as one.  Because small business owners do not have the resources or money to employ salespeople or social media editors, both of these may lack in comparison to corporate competition.  This is one of the many reasons owning a small business can be a very stressful enterprise.

Social media knowledge may be the most important of the four reasons listed above.  Many small business owners do not have the knowledge needed to conduct a proper social media campaign.  Many feel that simply having a Facebook or Linked In page is all they need to do.  Even if they do post occasionally, the content is not where is should be.  That is why I feel that hiring a consultant for social media is the one simple thing that businesses can do to help elevate their business if they do not have the knowledge already.  Hiring a consultant is not all that needs to be done, however.  You must implement a plan and stick to it!  You must set both short-term and long-term goals and stick to them!  There are ways to make social media work for you, but only with the proper knowledge and follow-through.

I like to compare social media campaigns to caring for a garden.  In the spring (the beginning of your campaign), you must prepare the soil.  You must buy quality product (social media consulting) and plant it at the right time.  From there you must care for your garden (post quality content) and water your garden (have short-term and long-term goals).  After a  few weeks, you will begin to see the “fruits” of your labor (Return on Investment).

Rachel made another interesting point in the webinar; there are a series of shortcomings that small business owners find themselves falling into.  The first shortcoming for small businesses is that they treat social media like advertising.  As I mentioned in my previous blog, social media is a two-way form of marketing.  Where traditional advertising is a one-way medium, social media allows fans and followers the opportunity to interact with the business in a whole new way.  Those businesses who view social media as a one-way medium will never see the advantages that social media has to offer.

Another shortcoming that Rachel discusses is the notion that social media will fix what is wrong with a small business.  This is one thing that I struggle to get business owners to understand.  Social media will not show ROI within a few weeks.  It may not show ROI within a few months.  But if you stick to goals that you have set for yourself, social media will become a valuable part of any business, be it small business or corporate business.  Many owners think that a one-month campaign is enough time to determine whether social media will work or not.  I encourage those of you reading this to understand that social media will never go away.  It is one long, never-ending opportunity to connect with your customers and clients in a new and different way that can add so much value to your business.

The one overwhelming theme from this webinar was this:  A small business owner with no social media training is like myself trying to fix my own car.  I have no knowledge how to fix an automobile, nor do I claim to.  Those owners need to understand, use, and leverage the power of social media.  This can only be done by hiring a consultant, taking classes or webinars or making a serious effort to learn on their own.  So please, if you are a small business owner, understand what course of action you need to take and take it!

For more information on Rachel Strella and Strella Social Media, follow Rachel on Twitter @RachelStrella

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

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It never ceases to amaze me how much there is to learn about social media.  While I feel that I am well-versed in SM, I will never consider myself an expert.  Obviously social media changes constantly, but by viewing the Strella Social Media Webinar about Social Media ROI for Small Business I was able to have a better understanding of how to deal with the different levels of clients that I serve.  This webinar is still available at:  http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=32042523 and I highly encourage you social media editors and business owners alike to view the webinar and learn about how social media can assist your marketing plan.

One portion of the webinar that stood out to me was the difference between social media strategies for large corporations and small businesses.  Rachel was quick to point out that corporations obviously have a much larger budget and are able to do much more than are small businesses.  Small businesses simply cannot afford to pay someone on staff to do only social media.  Often times there is someone on staff who has a myriad of tasks at hand other than social media.  Simply put, social media is a skill and should not simply be delegated to a secretary or an intern.

Traditional advertising has often been viewed as a one-way form of marketing.  Whether it be a television commercial, a radio spot, a bus wrap or an ad in the paper, these forms of advertising offer no way to produce feedback.  Social media is a medium that embraces feedback almost instantly in most cases.  Social media offers not only branding for your business but also a way to network with your clients in real-time, something traditional ads do not do.  Often times, however, businesses view social media as a one-way form of marketing.  They put out a message and do not follow-up properly or engage fully.  Rachel made a statement that stuck with me, “Social Media is an ongoing relationship that never ends.” If more social media marketers would understand and employ this statement into their everyday thought process, social media could be much more advantageous to them.

The most important thing within the webinar for myself specifically has to be the goal setting timeline that Rachel spoke of employing.  When starting any sort of social media campaign, it is extremely necessary to set goals.  By starting with 90-day goals, after the time period has elapsed you can evaluate these goals to determine what has worked and what hasn’t.  The next step should be a 6-month plan, in which after the 6-months you can again evaluate if your plan is working, what you can do to change it and where you would like to go in the future.

When getting started with a social media page, it is important to temper expectations.  There needs to be a strong balance between building your page and posting strong content for the readers to enjoy.  By offering something valuable to your readers, they begin to trust you and turn to you for information in the future.  When you first start a Facebook page for example, posting three times per week is a good place to start.  Any more than this, readers may get turned off if you are not offering value and strong content at the same time.  Any less than this, users will not engage at the level you are seeking.

The final point that I would like to emphasize is the importance of learning and understanding the skill that is social media.  Rachel made a great point in her webinar, “If you do not have the means to sustain your social media strategy, you should consider hiring an independent contractor.”  Often, you would end up not only having a better social media product, but saving yourself money in the process.  Keep in mind, as social media independent contractors, we want to see you succeed!

I appreciate the fact that Rachel Strella and Strella Social Media have begun producing unique content for the social media world.  I must say that I have great admiration for her and her company and look forward to her next webinar, Social Media and Small Business, Pitfalls to Avoid on October 15.  For more information please visit http://www.strellasocialmedia.com or @RachelStrella on Twitter.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495