Want the Best ROI From Social Media? Use Blogs

How businesses calculate ROI on their social media investments deviates from how they measure ROI for other marketing activities. They are counting Likes and followers instead of how much they sold as a result of a particular investment. This redefinition of ROI is somewhat forgivable in the short run; it's just not realistic to expect sales to come in right away since it takes time to develop real followers on social networks.

That said, at some point social media needs to pay for itself by generating sales or saving money. For most businesses, I believe the most reliable long-term return from social media will happen if you use a blog as the foundation of your social media platform. This, unfortunately, is not what most businesses want to hear. It takes a lot longer to write a blog post that's worth reading—it's much easier to come up with few cute quips, post them to Twitter and Facebook, and feel like you can check the social media box for the day.

But as they say, easy come easy go. Within a short time on Facebook (and perhaps just moments on Twitter), your message will be buried and long forgotten.
On the other hand, a blog post is the social media gift that keeps on giving, for a few reasons. First of all, every time you blog, you are building up and improving your web content. Having great content is a critical component of search engine optimization. Unless Google and other search engines have relevant content to index, you'll never get organic traffic for search terms related to your business.

Second, your blog post is a permanent part of your web pitch. Getting users to your site is only half the battle. Your website then needs to move them down the sales funnel and get them to email or call you. Expert blog posts can help build site visitor confidence and make users more comfortable to call.

Third, you've probably heard that search engine optimization of your main site pages can be enhanced by social media. Use blog headlines on your index page to make it more dynamic. Every time you post a new blog, the headlines update. Search engines like pages that change and are up to date. Blogging can help you achieve this goal.

Fourth, if your blog posts are really good, users will Like them, retweet them, or link to them from their own websites. Inbound links not only have the potential to generate traffic, but they can also positively impact your search engine positioning for that page.

Blogging requires an investment of your time (or money if you use a freelancer or social media service to help), but in the long run, if you're looking to maximize your return on social media, use a blog.