Almost every small business I talk to about Facebook and other social media platforms tell the same story when I ask: "Is the time and money you spend on Social Platform generating profits?"

It usually starts out something like: "I think so, we get likes and sometimes people share our posts" or "I don't know, it seems to, people like our Facebook page." 

When I dig a little deeper and ask: "Do you look at the analytics? Do you really know if you are getting payback for all the time, or the money you spend?"

Almost all of them say: "No, I don't understand that stuff." or "Sometimes, but I think it's working because we are getting more reach (or likes, or shares)."

In reality, with very few exceptions, every single small business I talk to is getting little to no return on all their time and money spent on social.

It's not the social platform's fault, You are doing it all wrong...

Social media is just that "social" it's not a sales platform, it's a place to be social, to interact with other users. You can't just post something on social media and expect a return on your investment (ROI). You have to use it correctly.

That begs the question: "How do I get an ROI on all the man hours and money I spend on social media?"

It's sImple really, you have to get your readers, followers, fans off the social platform and onto your website. 

There is a lot more to it but that's the basic idea. 

Your website also needs to be set up correctly. It has to have the proper pieces in place to convert that visitor into a lead or customer. Your website has to have good content, answer the visitor's questions, be easy to navigate, etc., etc. I could go on and on about the "must haves" of a good website but that's another topic. 

For our purposes here, let's assume your website is good to go, it has a sales funnel, lead capture, has been optimized for a great user experience, all the necessary things it needs to convert visitors into leads and customers. 

Let's get back to the question: "How do you get an ROI on all that time and money you spend on social?" - Get them off of the social platform and onto your website. Give them the information they are after, capture their email address, get them into your sales funnel, get them into your follow-up system, and convert them. 

It's not easy, Facebook has rooms full of developers and a vested interest in keeping people on their platform, they don't want people to click away to another site. And, make no mistake about it, they are good at it. They even have you helping them! You may not even realize it, but you are probably working against yourself and for Facebook in this respect. They make it so darn easy, even though you may know that you should be putting information on your website and just linking to it on Facebook, you just throw up a Facebook post instead. You're too busy, it's just easier, faster, to give your information to Facebook, you can do it from your phone, from home, anytime you find a free minute.

I get it, it's not easy to break the habit but you really need to start doing it right. If you don't have a blog on your own website, not a blog service, you need to get one now. A blog is hands down, the easiest way to add content to your website, Google loves fresh content so it will help you with organic traffic as well.

All of those posts that you put on Facebook like "today's specials," "upcoming events," "on sale now," all of your business news should be on your website, not on Facebook. Sure give Facebook your silly cat photos and all of the stuff you don't need an ROI on, but if the goal is to make money, put information on your website. Then, write a compelling headline, add an image or video, etc. and post that as a link on Facebook sending viewers back to the information that is now where it belongs, on your website.

If you start doing this (and your website is set up correctly) you will start seeing a return on all that time and money you spend on Facebook.

Remember, "likes and shares don't pay your bills - customers do."

Until next time,

Scott Williams
Director of Digital Marketing
Cotts, Inc.

 Cotts, Inc. is a digital marketing agency specializing in helping small businesses. We are located in the small city of Pottsville in Schuylkill County, PA 17901.

We build results-driven websites, expert social media content & strategies, custom interactive kiosk systems, digital signage systems and print campaigns so your business can compete in this digital world.

If your small business needs help with marketing in the digital world, reach out to us, our contact information is:
Phone: 570.399.5662