October 11, 2018 admin

What’s the ROI of Facebook (and Other Silly Questions People Still Ask)

poster-facebookAs a content strategy consultant, part of what I do is actively try to sell my services to folks who need a little nudge on getting going on their Facebook presence.

Their response more times than not: “I think we are all set with Facebook, we really don’t think there is value in it.” Now, I’d love to go ahead and tell them why they haven’t succeeded in Facebook marketing, but that’s really not my style, so I let the person on the other line know that there is tremendous value in Facebook- as long it’s done right.

But, being that the person on the other line has been taught that whenever you spend Roi spelled outmoney on a business you need to measure the ROI, they then say, “can you tell me what the ROI of Facebook is?”

You know you’ve said it, too.

“What is the ROI of Facebook” or some other version of that has definitely come out of your mouth.

Let me tell you: that question, without clarification, is not a valid question anymore (at least not in the traditional sense).

As Gary Vaynerchuk explains in one of my most favorite rebuttals to that question (below, and totally NSFW unless you work with people who are cool with the F-bomb being dropped), measuring the ROI of social media (Facebook included), is like measuring the ROI of your mother.  Measuring the ROI of your mother can’t be done, but yet everything your mother did for you created the basis for your next move in life.

Okay, so you may not appreciate the ROI of your mother comparison as much as I do. So, let’s talk about how Gary V. also mentions how you can’t exactly measure the ROI of the ad you spent thousands of dollars on in the monthly magazine you think will work out well for you. You put it in there so people would see your brand, right? The magazine has a bazillion monthly subscribers that are going to see it, right? Every single one of those subscribers are going to see your ad on page 139, right? Wrong. There is NO way to tell you how many people ACTUALLY saw your ad.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, brands are running ads and getting to see the numbers broken down in almost every category you can imagine. We know how many people saw it and how many times they saw it. We know how many people just clicked the “like” button and how many people actually clicked through to your website. We even know how many men and women between the ages of 25-30 that use iPhone 7’s saw it. Pretty important to have that info when your marketing dollars are limited and you are tired of throwing stuff at the wall to see if it sticks, know what I mean?


But aside from the fact that the analytics are uber fantastic, I want to reiterate the importance of brand awareness. Why? Because that, my friends, is the point of developing your Facebook following; seek first to make your target audience aware that you even exist, then create relationships, THEN once you are a trusted name (or the Facebooker has seen your brand slapped across some excellent, relevant content several times) you can cultivate those relationships in whatever sales goals you have.

And just like you can’t pinpoint the exact time that your mother said something to you that made you believe in yourself enough to become a successful entrepreneur, you probably won’t be able to pinpoint that exact time that you posted something on Facebook that made a consumer trust your brand enough to consider buying something from you.

As this Forbes article points out, the idea is to maximize profit in the longterm, not necessarily receive an ROI on your per campaign marketing efforts.

Still skeptical?  MIT Sloan Management Review states in this article, “…instead of emphasizing your own marketing investments and calculating the returns in terms of customer response, managers should begin by considering consumer motivations to use social media and then measure the social media investments customers make as they engage with the marketers’ brands”


Phew, now that I got that off of my chest, here are some of the other things I’m asked by brands who are not wanting to buy into the social media hype.

“How can I get more people to ‘like’ my page?” Not exactly a silly question, yet certainly one that needs to be addressed. “Likes” on a page are what we in the social media industry call “vanity metrics”- numbers that make us feel good about ourselves (“yay! People like my company!”), but don’t yield many results.

Don’t get us wrong, likes and followers are great to have, but there’s one (right) way to get consumers to like what your putting out there: provide great content. Then, develop brand recognition by providing more great, relevant, reliable content. And if you’re wondering why more people aren’t liking the content you are currently posting, here are 5 ways you’re doing social media all wrong.

“I have a very select audience I’m trying to reach, can Facebook even get to them?” The short answer is yes, but you should really pay attention to the longer answer…. which is also yes. You can certainly reach your target audience by hiring someone who is experienced in Facebook advertising (hi, that’s me!), but you also need to keep in mind that an expanded audience isn’t a bad idea. Case in point: you want to target people who buy luxury homes. Instead of only targeting consumers who are already in that space, why not target the people who may be buying their “move-up” home (starter luxury home?) in the next few years?

“Is Facebook really that important? We’ve been fine without it….” Honestly, people. Listen, you may be fine without Facebook for now. But here’s the thing, this media giant has over 2 billion users, many that use it EVERY day. Why wouldn’t you throw some marketing dollars at that?! If you are spending the money on local print ads, make the investment to be on Facebook and run Facebook ads. In fact, with every client I have, I include ad spend dollars because I believe in the power of Facebook advertising.

Still aren’t convinced? Think of what happened to Borders, Kodak, Blockbuster, and Filene’s. These (former) businesses became the poster children for brands that went out of business as a direct result of the failure to adapt to technology. Don’t let that be you.

Want to jump-start your Facebook presence? We’d love to help you with your content stategy.  In fact, we’ll do it for you. Contact us to find out how.

Who is J. Eckmann?

J. Eckmann (or, Jakki) is a content strategist, who specializes in communicating brands through the power of diversified content marketing. Knowing that there is a giant gap between traditional marketing and current digital marketing trends (think SEO), I believe it is imperative to ensure companies bridge that gap! By providing a comprehensive content strategy, it is my goal to show my clients first-hand how content can help them achieve their business goals.

Comments (2)

  1. I have never read more self serving drivel in my life. How about you link to a dozen case studies that prove your point instead of pontificating like you “know better”.

    • admin

      Hi Tom,
      Thanks for taking the time to read our article and comment on it. I’m sorry you thought it was self-serving. As digital marketers, we believe in the services we sell and this was a tongue and cheek way of expressing our thoughts alongside the Gary V video that we find aligns with our marketing beliefs.
      We appreciate the recommendation to link to case studies and will keep that in mind for the future!

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