The world of sales and marketing has changed and we’re not going back. We’re all familiar with the term ROI – return on investment. How about ROE?

Many people still look to their marketing budget as a spend. They look how much spare cash is on hand at the end of a month… (often grim reading), then decide to allocate a percentage of this to marketing – looking for maximum ROI.

That’s all well and good – but things have changed. Ask yourself these three questions;

Do you need to have a website to be in business today?

The answer is no.

Do you need to have a smart phone to conduct business successfully today?

The answer’s no…

Ok – so do you need to take advantage of social media in order to succeed in business today?

Well – the answer’s still no… so where’s this all going?

You don’t ‘need” all these aides, you can struggle along without them, working with one person at a time as you meet them.

Well let me ask you the same question I ask at any of my events – with all these tools available to you – why on earth would you not take advantage of each and every one of them at your disposal to give you a competitive advantage?

You almost certainly have a website of some sort up and running and very likely a smartphone in your pocket – failing that – an almost smartphone otherwise known as a Blackberry.  (Spot the Apple fan).

So why have you not yet made the move into social media? At least, an effective move – and that’s the key. You may be on Twitter or on Facebook and LinkedIn, but are you making effective use of them – are you engaging with people?

“You can’t beat face to face meetings, pressing the flesh”.

I hear that all the time, and I agree. However, how many face to face meetings can you have when you “network” in a day?

Maybe four or five – maybe ten if you sprint from person to person without really stopping to engage with people.

That’s the word – the word we should all focus on – Engagement.

The world has changed and I’d suggest you consider the value on your (ROE) return on engagement not simply your (ROI) return on investment.

There’s no doubt about it, social media has changed the way we communicate and interact with people around the globe – and that includes potential customers.

I hear so much moaning about time wasters on Facebook and Twitter – the answers simple if you’re in business – don’t be one of them. Instead – have a plan and and a strategy, that way you won’t just waste time – you’ll benefit immensely from your ROE.

First – consider these elements;

  • Who do you want to interact with and why?
  • Where do your target market hang out?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What knowledge have you got that you can share?
  • How can you help your audience?
  • What value can you offer to your followers and friends?

You can use tools such as Twitter Grader  and Klout to see who key influencers are in your geographical area.

You can search by product, service or industry sector.

What do you do once you find these key influencers – come on… you know buy now… Engage with them, talk, share information, retweet their information for them.

But this all takes time… yep. But once you get things rolling and once you see results – trust me it’s a worthwhile weapon in your sales and marketing arsenal.

Simply put – social media used effectively, can put your networking on legal steroids.