Companies can find it hard to trust whether or not they are getting out what they put in to their social media campaigns. And understandably so. Sure, you hear the token success stories repeated in every blog post. Steaz doubles sales after offering coupons on Twitter. Blendtech increases sales by 700% after making YouTube videos. Don’t get me wrong, those sales figures are encouraging. But they are hardly the norm. The truth is that if sales figures are the only way you measure ROI, and sales figures are the sole focus of your social media strategy, you aren’t seeing the forest through the trees. And you aren’t using social media to its greatest effect-making personal connections to your target market. ROI on social media is no longer evaluated in direct sales conversions but in audience building, brand awareness, exposure and customer relations. So…How do you do you make those connections to your potential customers? We’ve narrowed it down to 3 action points.
3 Crucial Steps to Maximising your Social ROI

1. Show ‘em your human side
Business has been humanised to a large extent in recent years. Taking a human approach to your social media strategy is the first step you can take towards building a successful social media campaign. People don’t want to interact with a robot, and nothing will turn off consumers quicker than technical jargon, business-speak and self-promotion. Keep it casual and conversational. Give your audience an insight into the faces behind the business. Sharing photos of the office cat or a video of a harmless office prank are just a few examples of ways in which you can connect to your audience on a human level. Just be sure to only use these kinds of posts sparingly, maybe once every 1-2 weeks. It should come across natural and you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re a business of slackers. If you are promoting the business, make it worth their time as well as yours. No one cares about the latest software you’ve just had installed but a 15% discount code, a free giveaway or a competition, anyone can get on board with that. Just remember the 80/20 rule. No more than 20% of your social media posting should consist of promotional content.

2. Share your secrets
No, not that one time in band camp secret, but inside industry tips, interesting facts and solid advice. Social media is a great way of providing valuable information in bite-sized portions for today’s time poor consumers. If possible, create infographics to complement the information you’re posting out. These have much greater chance of gaining likes, comments and shares, all of which will positively affect SEO. If you don’t have an in-house graphic designer, outsourcing to freelance designers can be done cheaply via sites like Elance or Odesk. Just make sure they have the portfolio and testimonials to back up their promises. If you can’t afford to create the images or infographics you want, share from other sites. Quotes, Gifs and memes are also quick and convenient ways to engage with your audience.

3. Be on Time
Do you know that philosophical question about whether a sound exists if there is no one around to hear it? Well the same question could be asked about social media postings. Timing is crucial in order for your post to reach the maximum number of people it can. Most people are on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram at 1pm and 3pm. However, this might not be the optimum times for audience engagement and they may not be the times that your audience logs in to social media. Post at various times of the day to guage the best times to post for higher engagement with your business. It’s not just about what times you post at but how many times you do. Businesses that tweet 20-30 times per week are known to be more successful than those who post between 10-20 times. As a general rule, companies should be spending at least 6 hours on social media every week. Of course on the flip side, posting every hour will only annoy people and cause people to unfollow you in droves. One final note about timing: Stay topical. Keep yourself informed on upcoming events and holidays. It might be obvious ones like Father’s day or Valentine’s day. Or it could be a weird one that you can weave a competition around. ‘In honour of National Punctuation day, we’re giving away a cinema ticket to every grammar Nazi who corrects this sentence.’ Or something like that. No matter what you post, put yourself in the shoes of the person reading and ask, would I find this interesting/valuable? Would I like this? Would I believe this? Would I interact with it? If the answer is no, then the chance are that no one else will either.