What The Super Bowl Can Teach You About Social Media ROI

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for the win

The Super Bowl is one of TV’s most-watched events. In fact, last year in 2012, 111.3 million viewers sat down to watch the Giants take it all for the 2011-2012 season.

As I sat watching Ravens and the 49ers battle it out last Sunday, I had an “ah-ha moment” about how football correlates to social media – and more specifically, how it relates to a Return on Investment (ROI) for social media.

Yardage Doesn’t Get You The ‘W’

It’s always impressive to see some of the yardage these amazing athletes rack up in a matter of a few hours. Sometimes the losing team has the ball for more time, has the most yardage and STILL goes home the loser.

Know why?

Because while yards are good, they aren’t a touchdown. Just like Fans and Followers are a nice way to say, “Look how many people see our stuff,” it doesn’t mean those eyeballs are converting to paying customers.

Conversions in football, just like social media, are what really matter. Two-point conversions, field goals and touchdowns are similar to non-Fans becoming Fans, then blog and newsletter readers and eventually turning into paying clients, customers and consumers of your goods.

If you, the “coach”, aren’t gaining points – conversions – you won’t be winning the game, or going to the Super Bowl, where the best of the best play.

Strategy And Unique Plays Are A Must

You can go to Vegas and put your money on the fact that professional football coaches, and surely those who lead Super Bowl bound teams, rely heavily on strategy – not luck – to get them through the season.

The social professionals who like to utilize the “post and pray” method, where there is no strategic planning, no goals or otherwise for posts and content, can expect to lose over and over again.

Your social media content, like every play called by the QB, should have a goal.

What are people supposed to do with this piece of content/post? Laugh? Learn? Click somewhere? Buy something? Your skills will sharpen over time when persuading Fans and Followers do do what you want, but if you have no plan to begin with, you’re just playing to play and not playing to win.

Additionally, for the social media professionals reading this, you’ll want to have your own unique plays. What sets you apart from the other social “experts” out there?

Differentiation is incredibly important, and should be a part of your strategy. If you are like everyone else, pushing Fans, Followers and the like, you’re singing the same sad tune – and are likely to lose the game.

There Is No ‘I’ In Team

No one player takes the team to the Super Bowl. The coach leads his players, but he can’t score yardage or points. It takes a cyclical effort; leaders and followers, listening and planning, practice and failure to get it all just right.

Your social media team has to work together with the client, and with customers, to ensure your offense and defense are both ready to score some points (aka: Conversions! NOT Fan and Follower counts).

Moreover, even though we’ve said it again and again, it’s worth noting that the whole “me Me ME” mentality is not being a team player. We can see right through your unauthentic posts when you rush to talk about yourself.

Watch The Tapes

Did your social media team, or professional, look at last year’s standings with you? Were they able to show you why they scored points here, but not there? Even social media pros have to “review the tapes” and figure out what players need to be cut, what plays need revamping and where the major points are continuously scored.

If you don’t have a team player, or a coach, who has “reviewed the tapes” with you, ask yourself if you have a good team in place. Then ask yourself what chance your social media efforts have making it to the Super Bowl.

We all want to make it to the “big time” and the only surefire way to do that is with points, conversions and WINNING.

See you in the social sphere!


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and social media customer care agency. She's also the author of Conversations That Connect -- a book all about social listening and social media customer care. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on the socials!
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