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This is a segment from an interview with Jay Izso, author of "Got Social Mediology".
Chris Hamilton: You touched on this a second ago here, but one of the things that I often get when I'm talking to companies. You talked about social media or leveraging social media is getting an ROI. Can you get an ROI from social media?
Jay Izso: You read the chapter on ROI or ROY.
Chris Hamilton: Yep. Yeah.
Jay Izso: Here's the difficult thing. I think so often what we're trying to do is we're trying to measure relationships, and we're looking for some sort of cause-effect. I do. I want a cause and effect. I want to know that if I do A, that's going to return B. Social media is not nearly as neat and clean as that, and certainly because we cannot establish that cause and effect relationship. Matter of fact, sometimes it's a silly post that actually bring me in business that had nothing to do with it because they enjoyed my sense of humor ... so it's semi-unpredictable.
Does that mean that there's no return? Absolutely not. There is a return on my [inaudible 00:01:00], but it's not as predictable, and that's the problem. Now, there's benefits. Now, I do talk about benefits. You have so many benefits available to you, whether that's SEO benefits or [inaudible 00:01:13] optimization, benefit to utilizing social media, the word of mouth benefit, the reciprocity benefit. There are a lot of other benefits, but I can't directly attribute if I do this post, it's going to bring in this amount of business. I don't think anybody can do that. That is even a frustration I think though with paid advertising in social-,
Chris Hamilton: Absolutely.
Jay Izso: Because the problem there is, as you well know, is that just because you click on the advertisement that does what?
Chris Hamilton: Exactly. Do they actually buy anything? Sometimes you can see that but [crosstalk 00:01:52] in most cases exactly. It's branding. When you say to people you're going to be branding yourself, it's yeah, but what's the return on that? You have no idea, right? Sometimes it's very tough to figure that out, so ...
Jay Izso: If you've got a shopping cart and you were selling T-shirts and that click took you to a shopping cart, maybe you could track how many people clicked that actually purchased something, but if you're in the insurance industry, financial industry, real estate industry, and somebody clicked ... did they make an appointment or didn't they?
Chris Hamilton: Yeah.
Jay Izso: What did they do? Did they buy insurance? How do you know? How do you not know? All of a sudden now we start working in what we call illusory correlation. We make this illusion that there's a correlation between the two when there really isn't anything there that exists. We might as well understand that these cultures are built around relationships primarily, and if we develop really solid relationships, we're going to get business.
I use an example in the book. My wife's mom passed away in 2012, in September 2012, and I used the example that my wife asked me. She said, "Would it be okay for me to just kind of use Facebook as a journal about what I'm going through with my mom, taking her to chemotherapy and everything." I said, "Absolutely." I said, "because that's real, it's honest and people love to share a journey," and they do. They just love it.
She went through the journey and her mom died, and shortly after her mom died, people started walking through her real estate door wanting to sell their property. She said she would say to them, "How did you hear about me," because that's always the first question, and she said, "We've been following your posts with your mom and it just happened to us," or, "We're going through the same thing," was another one. "We're going through the same thing and we've been following your post on Facebook, and we knew that we wanted you to sell our home because we knew you'd understand." What's the price on that?
Chris Hamilton: No price on that. It's priceless, right, so.
Jay Izso: Yeah.
Chris Hamilton: It's incredible.
Jay Izso: Right. People still come in. This is three years later and people are still coming through the door saying, "We remember the post with your mom and we want you ... and it's just being authentic. It's being real. It's sharing a journey and it's relevant to people. We can all relate to it on some level. That's what makes this powerful. It's an awesome bunch of [inaudible 00:04:27].