Looking for a Social Media ROI?

So is Notorious Rob

The problem is that the quality of marketing matters so much and some of the best marketing is extremely niche focused and doesn’t necessarily scale or translate in other locations well.

Of course there are examples of people doing extremely well with hard-sell techniques and people doing extremely well with soft-sell techniques.  But the reality is that most agents using either of these techniques (or some hybrid) are largely failing to get a good return on the money they spend on marketing.

My take is that the most important improvement that many agents could make to their marketing is simply to learn to do a better job creating, measuring, tracking and tweaking their marketing plans.   In other words, some people will do much better at soft-sell techniques, while others will thrive in hard-sell situations…

And while it would be possible to show individual cases where people using either a hard-sell or soft-sell strategy was able to outshine and dominate their competition, in practice, ROI is not measured at an industry-wide level.  Rather marketing ROI for agents is measured at the individual level and needs to answer basic questions like “Did I optimize my marketing time/dollars to achieve my desired objective?”

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Dustin Luther

Current lead up the team managing Brand and Influencer Engagement programs for Dun & Bradstreet. You can find me on Twitter (@tyr) or LinkedIn (DustinLuther)

13 thoughts on “Looking for a Social Media ROI?”

  1. I definitely think it’s about quantifying your progress and results! I’ve always said that one person is going to “sell” differently than the next, and for that reason it’s completely irrelevant for you to “copy” what one person is doing and assume it’s going to work for you.

    Quantify your progress and results and only then you’ll know whether you’re making headway and determine what needs to be changed.

  2. I dig your take, Dustin. 🙂

    And I dig RB’s take even more. To some extent, it’s true that we sell/market ourselves; hence what works for one person won’t work for another.

    Nonetheless, the issue is the classic “lift-over-control”. If using the soft-sell is providing lift over control, then great. If it isn’t, then it’s just a lot of hype.

    If we’re predicating our advocacy of the “soft-touch” on changes in consumer behavior, then I think we (meaning, the marketing gurus in real estate) oughta be able to show measurable lift over control.

    I personally think folks like 1000Watt will undertake a study and show us all. 🙂


  3. I’m loaded with anecdotal evidence of blog and “social network” ROI. Quantifying in “hard dollars” is very difficult.

    I ask every client how they found us. The typical answer is “on the internet”.

    Does that mean they found us via the blog, the static site, a blog I contribute to, a comment I left on someone’s blog, a forum post, or via some social network? Sometimes I can trace it back to a specific site/page/post, most often not.

    Oh, I can quantify visitors to the blog, and the blog’s IDX page. I can quantify the “come list my house” emails. And I can quantify the number of prospects set up on auto-listings. What is difficult is quantifying how many of those prospects turn into actual clients. Some are on listings for two years before they “come out”. Some never materialize.

    The only way I know to find out exactly how many clients come from one source (say the blog) would be to have that source be the ONLY way someone could find me on the Internet.

    And I’m not about to go down that road….

  4. It is totally a local thing. It does not matter to me that Teresa Boardman’s blog in Minnesota gets more traffic than my blog in Michigan. What matters is that my blog in Michigan feeds my family in Michigan.

    I did a post not long on AgentGenius that laid out where most of my leads in a two week span came from on the internet. It was quantified. I’ve seen few other bloggers match dollars with smm and publish a number, but that does not matter either. My market is my market again. My missing link was the the amount of time I have invested in all of these things. Its a lot.

  5. I think Jay raises a good point on what part of the “internet” did they find us on. We track it as closely as possible and sometimes a unique phone number to a blog versus another or certain offers helps however it’s still difficult. Like those above we have found that when we have X number of MLS searches a day – we get Y consumers in dialogue with us.

    Looking forward to reading Rob’s follow-on post.

  6. Some interesting points raised. Indeed investing in the right marketing strategy can be more important than making the right soft/hard sell as you say, and optimization is incredibly important.

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