“Piano Man” Gary Vaynerchuk sung us a song on what the ROI of social media means for society at Inbound Conference 2012.  His speech focused on customer retention and realizing that social media has an impact on the way we do business in today’s world.

“The way we communicated in the past has now been disrupted.  We are now living digitally and collectively.  This is the biggest culture shift of our time.”-Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary conducted an experiment to see how many people had connected with people on Facebook they hadn’t see in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years.  An astonishing 70% raised their hands into 15+ years.  However, the interest graph has lead to Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram to give us context of who you are and what you like.  In 1995 to 1999, Gary thought the Internet would be a fad.  “Twitter looked the same way in the beginning too,” he admitted honestly.  What makes Twitter so great though is the fact that you can see what people are saying and engage.  We are now spending more time on social, some of us even haven’t consumed commercials all year, and half the people driving now are texting while driving instead of looking at billboards.

“People aren’t looking at billboards, they aren’t even looking at the road.”

Insert Flinstones Image Here

As our world goes forward towards the Jetsons, the people that are like the Flintstones will win. Free shipping was one of the great tactics that worked for Gary at, but with Social media you can easily track you efforts.  Social media is more scalable.

“Build a brand, otherwise it’s a tactic.”

You need to have the emotional EQ.  Be awesome because of your flaws, not despite them.  Where does the customer attention go?  When you think about the business world you have to innovate.  “Marketers find a way to ruin everything,” says Gary.  Speed kills.  Get to clients before they come to you.  If you look at the Ad click through rates back in 1994, they were around 87% open rates for Gary when no one was doing Email Marketing.  Social media is now how we initiate customer acquisitions.
Insert Billy Joel Image here

What is the ROI of social media?  That’s like saying, “What’s the ROI of a piano?”  If you’re just tapping into social media it means nothing for you.  Social media is becoming a developed skill that has an ROI for helping achieve marketing goals.  It’s like Gary playing the piano when he has no idea what the flip he’s doing, but the ROI of someone more like Billy Joel is serenade to the ears.

Final Thought: “It’s not about how many customers you can get, but keep.”

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