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There are 4 social velocity levers. Are you pulling them all?

There are only four factors that impact the ROI on social media marketing. I use a term called the Social Velocity Equation and it’s pretty simple... It goes like this:

"Social Velocity is a function of [A] the # of followers you engage, [B] the average business value per follower (as measured by some outcome), [C] your conversion rate and [D] the average engagement time (social engagement cycle) spent on social media marketing per follower."

Simply put; you want to increase A, B and C and reduce D. So for example you increase A, B and C by 10% and reduce D by 10%, you increase your Social Velocity by 47%. Go on, do the math – it works out.

So, before you read the rest of this blog post, stop and think for a minute, and pick from the following four options the one where you spend most of your time.

  1. Increase number of followers
  2. Increase average value
  3. Increase conversion rate
  4. Reduce engagement cycle

I just have run an informal survey on this – and unfortunately most people are focusing most of their time on getting more followers and not trying to maximize the return from the followers they have. I suspect that increasing the number of followers is, for many social marketers people, the only activity that gets any real attention.

The problem with this is that if you focus most of your time on generating likes, followers, readers, comments (e.g., social signals) you’ve less time to increase the chance of converting the followers you have into customers, maximizing the value from those customers, or reducing the social engagement cycle.

In many cases, this behavior is reinforced by management whose primary measure is ‘social activity’. Questions like “How many friends did you make this week?” or “How many followers did you add last month?” drive very inefficient behavior. From the social media marketer’s perspective, in many ways adding new followers to the brand, product or service is the easiest thing to do, particularly if that’s how you’re being measured.

  • No one said they had to be filtered right? Early filtering would only reduces the size of the audience.
  • No one said they need to be followers that you actually have a chance of converting?
  • You didn’t need to challenge the follower to uncover how you could really add value (removing price sensitivity and improving your average deal size).
  • There was no need to ask really tough questions to understand the follower’s buying process so that you could align your selling activity, or negotiate access to the real decision makers to increase your conversion rate.
  • And you didn’t need to take control of the sale, or agree a joint selling/buying plan with the follower, where you could in fact guide the progress and shorten the social engagement cycle. In fact, you didn’t really need any courage at all.

Of course I understand the need to constantly add new followers to your social channels, but indulge me for a minute. Let’s consider it’s not the only thing you should focus on. What happens if you don’t add new followers? Does it mean that your social velocity grinds to a halt? – well not necessarily.

If we apply the social velocity equation and assume that the number of followers stays static, but that you do manage to increase the average value and conversion rate by 10%, and reduce the length of the social engagement cycle by 10%, your social velocity would improve by 34%.

So, this week I’d like to give you a challenge. Ask yourself what you can do with the followers you have in to impact your deal size, win rate, and social engagement cycle duration. You might be surprised at the results. Come back and let me know.

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Tags: Joe, Marketing, Measurement, Media, Outcomes, ROI, Schwartz, Social, Value, Velocity, More…


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Comment by Alexander Lau on December 28, 2012 at 7:32am

I can't tell you how much of a difference this has made, plus it verifies the need for social signals as part of SEO. I'm sorry I wrote that incorrectly. I meant our SEO CRM calculates... not Social CRM, but I suppose that's part of it as well.

Comment by Joe Schwartz on December 28, 2012 at 7:23am


Comment by Alexander Lau on December 28, 2012 at 6:36am

Good information. Good Social CRMs and their algorithm calculate social velocities, exactly what you're preaching, conversions just have to be set up properly through Google Analytics and imported into them, via GA's outbound API.

Comment by Mark Tewart on December 28, 2012 at 5:55am

Good post

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