CAR WASH - Fall 2014 - (Page 75)
The ROI of social media
i was neVer a fan of the cocktail
party networking scene. I will never be
one to dart around a room shoving business cards into hands. I prefer meaningful
conversations with people, getting to know
them and vice versa.
But social media networking? That's
something different altogether. Done right,
it's never a hit-and-run. Rather, it consists
of building relationships over months, and
even years, by sharing information - both
professional and personal - through posts
and comments, and responding to questions in various online communities.
the more YoU
taKe Part in
the LIveLIer AND
I'll refer to the return on investment,
or ROI, for putting that kind of time into
social media as RON - "return on networking." And for me, it's huge.
I've been on Facebook for five years; I
also have Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn
accounts, among others. All totaled, I'm
now approaching 100,000 friends, followers
Those followers expose my name and
message to their audiences every time
they "like" one of my posts or share one of
my links. Recently, someone re-tweeted
something I'd shared on Twitter, and he
had 130,000 followers! That's a potential
audience of 130,000 people I likely would
not have reached otherwise.
Who knows how many of those people
may someday become my clients? Who
cares? I'll still consider the exposure a good
RON and here's why: The RON of social
media isn't always tangible, not immediately, anyway.
By establishing a continued presence
online through regularly sharing content
of use to my followers, I'm building my
platform and my reputation as an expert.
That grows in surprising ways - and lives
in surprising places.
Late last year, I got a call from a prominent New York City hair stylist, the director of a salon in one of that city's premier
department stores. He wanted to talk about
some publicity needs and what my company could do to help him.
When I asked how he got my name, he
explained he'd written some books over the
years with a co-author, and she'd heard me
at a speaking engagement. The next thing
he said came as a complete surprise.
"So, then I contacted the corporate office
[of the department store chain] and asked
what PR agency they would recommend."
To my surprise, they recommended
me and my company. I don't know a soul
in the corporate offices of that high-end
retail chain. I can only guess they learned
of me through social media.
Being on Twitter or Google+ isn't
enough, of course. You have to make a
diligent effort to regularly post content
that people find valuable, including links
to informative articles, tips relevant to your
topic, and informed insights on topics in
You also have to "be a human." Post
photos when you go on vacation, celebrate
milestones or engage in hobbies. Posting
these with a comment adds a personal
touch that allows followers to connect on
an emotional level.
Interaction is equally important. Strive
to respond to every comment or question posted on your networking sites.
Interacting is engaging, and people who
are engaged tend to be happy followers.
The more you take part in conversations
via comments and responses, the livelier
and more visible your presence becomes.
The RON includes increased traffic to
your website; increased trust in your brand
and what you're selling; and greater word
of mouth than you could ever hope for by
attending a cocktail party or performing
a speaking engagement.
Marsha Friedman is CEO of EMSI Public
Relations, a national firm that provides PR
strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional
firms. Friedman is the author of Celebritize
Yourself: The Three Step Method to
Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your
Business. For more information, visit www.
emsincorporated.com. Follow Friedman on
fall 2014 | car wash magazine | www.carwash.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CAR WASH - Fall 2014
Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Does your company need a rebrand?
Give your business a boost with online videos
The rebirth of Ceccato
Car wash industry loses a true legend
Mighty Wash moves quickly to shape future of car wash industry
Let your site shine
A powerful marketing advantage: Your company’s anniversary
Search engine marketing value proposition
Creating the car wash industry: An inside look
Blast from the Past
Focus on the Member
CAR WASH - Fall 2014