If you’re not going to put your time in it, don’t invest in it. Part of our audit process for clients is to look at online assets that they’ve invested in, but aren’t giving much love to. A couple of these don’t really deserve the love, but some actually do. We definitely don’t blame clients for reconsidering their online investments only after investing in them, but ideally, if you’re not going to nurture it into something that provides positive ROI (of whatever manner), then don’t invest in it at all.
The most common example of this is social media. How many social networks does your business have a presence on? In our clients’ case, it’s an average of 4 – the main ones being Facebook, Twitter and some degree Instagram and shockingly in 2017 still is Google Plus.
I won’t delve much on the first 3, but I’ll say a lot about Google Plus.
Google Plus – the Perfect Example
G+ was Google’s attempt at social media, and although it often ranks highly in the number of absolute users, it really is a ghost town in many parts of the world. Consider that many people have more than one G-Mail account, and if you’d accidentally tapped the G+ button, you’d have 2 accounts created. That’s pretty neat – for Google – but not so much for Users.
Furthermore, when the integration of G+ into Google’s search results with functions like the authorship markup was a thing, you had to be on G+. Few brands and businesses understood how it works, and still don’t. The result has been websites that still link to G+ pages that haven’t been updated with new content in years. This is not unique to Google Plus, but other social networks as well.
Negative Impact of an Investment
The impact of having your citation on the networks that you’re on, but not updating with fresh content can be detrimental to your brand perception by both human users and bots that crawl the internet. This negative ranking signal, however minor, need not be a factor when you have longer term plans for what you’ll do with the asset (a social network profile in this example). These plans should ideally tie to your business goals else the investment doesn’t make any sense.
My financial background sorts of play a big role in advising clients on what online assets to invest in. It stems from my understanding of Cost-Benefit Analysis, IRR, and other so on. Of course the formulae for these isn’t applied the same way as deciding whether to or no invest in social media or any other online asset, but the idea is the same – that if the cost will exceed the benefit, it may be wise not to pursue the project at that moment in time.
This is the kind of thought that we have built Friends of Brands on, and it’s the way that we’d like all our clients and everyone else to consider.
- Don’t invest in any digital assets unless you’ll have the skills and expertise (either internally or outsourced) to maintain it for a sufficient duration for it to have a positive net return.
- Understand your social media network mix, e.g. just because it’s cool to be on LinkedIn, your customers may be a demographic that is mostly not on LinkedIn, and so forth.