7 Deadly Sins of Community Management: Greed
Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice, cupidity or covetousness, is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of material possessions.
Chris Brogan said it best in an interview from 2010 with Oracle’s Profit Online:
@chrisbrogan says: influence is a good thing to build, even if it doesn’t immediately translate into obvious dollars.Click To Tweet
The investment in social media is reasonably low from a dollars perspective, and reasonably high from a labor-intensity perspective. We understand time and money. What we don’t understand well and what doesn’t fit neatly into a balance sheet are those actions that build up good will, that build up loyalty, that build up potential long-term customers. If I buy you dinner and we laugh and have a great time, our next meeting will go better. Return on that kind of influence is a good thing to build, even if it doesn’t immediately translate into obvious dollars. The trick is in knowing where to put those hours.
Way too often we fall to the trap of trying to measure our communities or general social media activity in profits made, or new customers gained. Sure, that is a definite end goal, but as community managers we need to remember that its never instantaneous. Relationships need to be built over time. You can’t just introduce yourself as an expert and expect to be treated as one. You have to prove yourself.
Social media for most will not be a magic sales machine. We need to avoid focusing our efforts on results such as direct financial return, revenue per customer, or even total sales levels. Instead of looking for the precise profit-based value of your time online, try to think of your efforts in terms of audience-building, brand awareness, and customer relations.
As always, there will be exceptions to this “rule.” Let’s say you are a business owner engaging in a bit of bootstrap marketing, doing a lot yourself and wearing many hats, you can’t ignore your sales numbers. Think about which marketing methods have the best return for what you need, and focus on those. Just understand, that within social media, the benefits may be more long-term than you initially expect, but have faith – if you build authority and trust through quality relationships, you will find yourself achieving those goals you set.
Another exception is tied to the rise in social commerce applications for social media, as well as other direct response campaigns -they can easily achieve measurable results on networks like Facebook or Google+, and by all means can measure success based on those. But for most businesses and organizations, the direct impact of social media is likely to affect non-purchasing behaviors, such as discussion and engagement about your company or brand. This will, over time, boost exposure, build public knowledge, generate (hopefully) positive attitudes, and all this combined may ultimately prompt those new purchases or signups.