Focus on Connecting not Making Money


More and more companies are starting to see the value in social media. These same companies though are trying to assign a dollar value to its social media impact and that isn’t easy. They are thinking in the same terms as buying advertising and that doesn’t apply to social media. Chris Heuer said in Measuring—and Capturing—the Value of Social Media that most companies have focused on the financial aspect of investment and return and have “failed to recognize that the very nature of the market has changed, expanding the concept of “returns” and their significance to the company.”

A great way to look at social media ROI is to know what you’re looking for. The article Social Media ROI: It’s Not One Size Fits All talks about how measuring ROI isn’t the same for everyone and a lot of people don’t know what they want from social media. A brand needs to set a goal for its social media efforts before it can measure anything. If you are diving into data blindly, you won’t know what you’re looking at or looking for.

Each goal will have different metrics and it all isn’t applicable to how many likes or comments something gets. For instance, if brand exposure is the goal then one should look at mentions and sentiment. The metrics will be different if your goal is to drive people back to your website. Having a goal will only clear the path to ROI that a brand should take. What works for one company is probably not going to work for the next because they have different goals.

Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman gave a great speech in the video Harness the True Power of Social Media. Ulman’s main focus was social media isn’t about money but instead connecting with others, touching lives and sharing stories. It’s not a one way tool of communication but some companies still put this into practice when it only pushes sales messages. Until a company sees the true value of social media, it won’t start creating the right kind of content for its audience. ran an article titled 5 Social Media Tactics to Increase ROI. It listed engage, be authentic, keep content at a premium, integrate real-time apps and experiment as its tips.  While these tactics are helpful best practices for brands to follow on social media, I don’t immediately see how they lead to ROI. A brand utilizing all of these tips will create a better community for its brand, which will hopefully lead it to achieve the brand’s goal for social media.


Do you know of brands that focus too much on the sale instead of forming a community?

What social media goal do you think most companies set?


12 thoughts on “Focus on Connecting not Making Money

  1. Hi Stacy.

    Most brands just want to know how to get more followers, fans and subscribers across all of their social media platforms. They want to know how to integrate social media into their business strategy. They want to know which social media platform is the best for their business and if they should sure every single platform currently in existence. They want to know how to generate leads through social media and how to monetize their social media efforts. These are the most common concerns.

  2. Hi Stacy,
    I think Old Navy actually focuses too much on the sell and not enough on engagement. I have covered this brand a few times this semester, and the more I learn the more I realize they should be branching out in different ways. I think most businesses focus their goals on gaining likes and followers initially, then when they have amassed a certain amount, or hit that goal many businesses want to see what they can do with it. Increasing online sales is also a goal of many businesses. Great post!

    • I definitely agree with you on Old Navy. If only companies would realize how many more fans and followers they could accumulate with utilizing engagement from the very beginning as a goal.

  3. I’ve watched the brand Fathead a lot lately and they are kind of unique in the way they post. Nearly every post has an image of one of their products. In doing so, you might think that they are focusing too much on the sale. But what they add to these images actually draw in their audience for engagement. As you know, Fathead started with sports. They created giant vinyl stickers of football helmets and players. It eventually grew into a big company offering much more. On their Facebook page, they post images of their decals and posters as it pertains to the current sports season. They tie it to current games, tournaments, etc. It’s brilliant. So, they do “sell” their products but it goes over well because the people engaging are the fanatics seeking these very products.

    Many companies set goals to obtain a certain number of followers and likes. They don’t see that those numbers will come if your offer the right platform for engagement. You can definitely tell when a company gets the big picture and is able to achieve big numbers. They always have the engagement to back it up.

    • Sounds like Fathead is doing a great job at selling in a discreet in way, which is great. No one wants to see the hard sell on social. I completely agree with you on engagement. What do a ton of followers do for a company if none of them engage after initially liking them. That can’t be the goal anymore.

  4. I love 7 for All Mankind, but their Facebook page is kind of annoying. I like it simply for the occasional coupon/giveaway. But most of the time, they’re posting a pic of their products and basically saying “buy it here.” However, I did notice recently that they’re doing the charity thing, teaming up with the Movember folks. So maybe there’s hope for them after all.

  5. I do know a company that does that and it’s truly impacting them at various levels. By focusing more on the ends than the means they are making mistakes left and right that will keep them from reaching their goals. I hope companies set goals such as increasing interaction ect. However, I do think people concentrate on the gaining financially.

  6. I’m with you Stacy, why don’t brands understand the value of engagement?!

    I have seen several brands out there just focusing on sales, mostly local businesses who clearly have no sense of marketing or social media savvy. It’s sad to see, because if they would just respond to comments and form a community, it would really help their business grow.

    I think most companies are stuck on the number of likes and followers for their social accounts, because it’s hard to show value in anything else. The executives want numbers to show ROI, and it’s a constant battle between numbers and engagement. It’s definitely not easy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s