Lately I have been obsessed with social media. Actually for quite a while. I spend quite a bit of time, every day actually, to keep my personal, professional, and firm’s social media presence and online reputation in tact and up to snuff with current day standards. But this is where I begin to loose nearly every one that I come across.
I will use some individuals that I work with for example. (I will keep their names to myself to help save the innocent and the uneducated.)
These individuals that I work with, and there are a handful of them, that just simply don’t get it. They do not understand why I use Twitter, facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. etc. etc. They do not understand why we use it as a company at IMAVEX. They do not understand any part of it. There are a couple that at least consider it a trend and that some people might find some value in it. But for the most part it usually leads to a series of jokes and thoughts of anti social networking sites. (These are a certain individuals idea of how to combat social networking sites. He thinks that if he creates personal accounts on all of these sites, then deletes users and blocks people from using his site, that he will be able to force a resistance against people like me. When in all reality what he would be doing, if he did this, was creating a social networking presence of his own. This is where I feel the word uneducated comes into play.)
Now, having said that, I want to show you a true, proven, ROI for using social media. Especially Twitter. (Twitter, for those of you living under a rock, is a 140 character status update service. It is built for various reasons but this is neither the time nor the place to discuss those.)
A man from Kansas recently put this to the test. He wanted to prove that you could in fact judge an ROI from using social media sites. Working as a full time social media expert for a firm in Kansas, he decided to do something monumental with social media. Let me give you a little back story first.
We are living in an economic down turn and we honestly see no end in site. It will get worse before it gets better; I can promise you that. (Again, this is not the time to discuss this issue.) And with only three areas, including L.A., San Fransisco, and Phoenix not falling into this mold, the average turn around on a house for sale is 100+ days. Imagine that for a second. You go to put your house up for sale and it will sit there for a minimum of 100 days before it is even looked at in some cases. I mean, sure, not every case is like this, but that is the nation wide average. But not for this social media guru from Kansas City.
To prove his theory of the power behind social media he began talking. He used facebook and Twitter mostly and began talking about the potential of selling his home. He took photos and posted them on Flickr. He shared stories and memories of living in the home and the features that the home had. But he never talked about selling the house. He did this for about twenty or so days and then began to mention that he was in the market of selling his home. In less than fifty days, forty-nine to be exact, his house was sold. He sold it through a communication that he build with someone he had never met on Twitter.
How did he do this? He posted. He posted several articles a day simply talking his home up and when it came time to sell his home everyone wanted a piece of it. He posted witty, exciting, and simply open and honest posts about his home. He used it for the right reasons.
There is more to it, of course, but the underlying issue here is that he sold his house, in half the time it would take just sitting on the market, with doing nothing more than utilizing these FREE services that we all have access to. I have a million stories, and I am honestly considering writing a multi part post, that would include all my thoughts on social media and the individual players in the market, but that is a summer long project. (I have actually thought about seeking some investors to promote this and publish this piece as a research paper. Do we hear a masters degree coming anytime soon?)
So there you have it. This is one, of hundreds, story that I have heard about proven ROI by using something as easy as 140 characters.
Can you sell me something by using only 140 characters?