Jeff Molander is a marketing futurist, professional keynote speaker, leadership speaker and professor of digital direct marketing at Loyola University''s school of business. As CEO of Molander & Associates Inc. he helps build profitable businesses by improving digital marketing outcomes by making them accountable to business goals. Jeff can be reached at

He says:

Most organizations are realizing little if any TANGIBLE VALUE from social media. And here's why.

1) They are defining success incorrectly. They're defining it in QUANTITATIVE terms... friends, followers, traffic and buzz. This isn't about creating conversation or community. It's about creating sales and leads.

2) Most businesses are failing because they're looking in the WRONG PLACES for answers on how to create them. Don't look to self-appointed social media gurus. Trust you OWN instincts and what you ALREADY KNOW works in your stores, call centers and catalogs. And...

3) Most MARKETERS are allowing themselves to become tools of the shiny new tools. What I mean is this: Social media tools need to SERVE YOUR BUSINESS... not the other way around. And that means applying them within the CONTEXT of your goals. In other words, you want sales, leads and subscribers... not Friends, Followers and good vibrations.

Connecting digital media outcomes with BUSINESS outcomes doesn't just happen... although “the experts” sure make it sound that way. Success is planned and meticulously executed. You know that! Just like every other successful business venture.

So to make things like social media marketing actually PAY you... 1) Define success qualitatively. 2) Look to what you already KNOW creates value and find ways to boost it with digital tools... and 3) Apply new tools ONLY when they can support your business goal. Otherwise JUST SAY NO.

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