Brian Basilico is the owner of his own social media company. One of the things we talked about was return on investment, and looking at ROI when you are using social media and actually for many things you are probably doing.
Brian Basilico is the owner of B2B Interactive Marketing. B2b Interactive Marketing combines audio, video, interactive, web, communications, and advertising, with branding and marketing experience of almost 30 years in the communications industry.
Zeb’s Take – Social Media and ROI
It was a blast talking with Brian about social media and all the different things that he’s doing. We had some great back and forth while talking about social media marketing.
The thing I want to expand on is the return on Investment or ROI of social media, which I think is very important for business owners understand when they are getting into the social media space. Social Media and ROI. People will ask me, “Should every business use social media?” My response is always yes. I honestly think every single business should use social media. Having said that, I don’t always think paying for someone to run a social media presence is the best investment of your money. Timewise, yes you should use social media, use it as much as you can. But sometimes the cost doesn’t make sense for the returns that you’re getting from the social media usage.
It is important to analyze time versus money and how you’re going to spend that using social media. Sometimes people think it’s a just one-stop-shop; it’s not, it’s a long term goal. If your goal in a business is to grow as large as you possibly can then social media is a no-brainer. Hire people to do it and realize that it’s an investment. If you are looking to use social media to make instant sales to cover the cost of what you’re paying for the social media, especially in the first few months, you’re going to be disappointed. With social media, you’re putting in the time, money and resources now for gains down the road.
Go out there and find your success!
Find out more about Brian Basilico and B2B Interactive Marketing
- “It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”
- “I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”
- “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.”
- “Marketing is a participation sport, it’s not like advertising where you pass it off to somebody.”
- “The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.”
- “Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens.”
- “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”
- “The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.”
More From the Interview
Growing up Brian was a musician. At 18 years of age he started a recording studio in his Dad’s basement. He had to learn to promote himself. At first, he used a word processor to print out articles, cut and paste them together into a newsletter that he would take to a copy shop and print and put together his newsletters. Since then he’s been a video editor and producer, he owned a commercial recording studio (produced jingles, radio programs and commercials), and online marketing.
“It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”
He says, the funny thing about marketing is marketing has never changed. It is always about people, knowing who the audience is and how they want to be communicated to. The thing that has changed is the technology and tools. You have to learn to adapt over the years.
Not too long no one knew what the smartphone was and now it’s updated every day.
“I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”
The smartest and most profitable people learn how to adapt to where their audience is. If you want to reach a 20 year old you need to text them. If you’re talking to 70 year olds, you still need to put out a print newsletter. You have to know where your audience is and you have to learn to adapt to get your message there. The message and the content has always been the same. It’s always been really good content and great articles. But, you have to know the channels where you can connect with them.
Branding is part logo, part image and part message. You need to know who your audience and know what your audience is looking for. An example Brian shared was for a company that made ferrules, a small part on a golf club. Once an industry staple, this company had lost a lot of their customers to cheaper overseas competition. Their business model was to sell high quality at a low price to the largest golf manufacturers. While doing research Brian spoke with someone who builds clubs for professional golfers around the world. This person agreed that this company made the highest quality part and it never broke, whereas the competitor’s part did break. He mentioned that fixing that one part cost $150 each time the repair needed to be made. He said I don’t care what I have to pay for that thing I want that ferrule. Now she manufactures custom versions of this and what sells she used to sell for $0.07 for $1.50. She learned that the marketplace had changed, without her noticing it. We completely reinvented her business.
Brian shares his success story with a fortune 100 company that was making a $1k a month in online sales, Brian convinced them to put in a true ecommerce system on their site. By creating a very familiar interface for their ecommerce their online sales skyrocketed to $25k in sales a month.
What I see a lot of people doing wrong in marketing is throwing a lot of good money at bad. You have to consider social media and ROI. “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.” People don’t understand the concept of using marketing as an investment and how to measure their return on investment so they do get ripped off.
“The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.” If you reward people for promoting you to your friends and give them something relatively inexpensive, you’re winning.
It’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World is Brian’s book. It is a why-to book about social media. It takes you through a whole journey of marketing. There are chapters on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all that other stuff. It doesn’t tell you how to do things, it tells you why it’s important and who is there. The whole purpose of the book is getting you to understand the concept of what social media marketing means. From there, there’s lots of other opportunities to learn how to use it.
The title is from Brian’s experience at a conference. One of the other presenters encouraged people to use a hashtag, #bacon. She got 20 new followers. After that Brian started posting pictures of bacon and #bacon and breakfast with bacon online. Brian got an incredible response. What he came to find out was that the two most shared things on the internet were kittens and bacon. The whole concept is that social media marketing is not able sales and about you, and bacon is about creating a brand that is memorable and something that people will search out.
Advice for New Businesses
Go out and network. Go out and meet people. Find people you can have a 1-on-1 conversation with ask them about their experiences and their life. From there, ask them for referrals, for whatever you need. connect with them and then ask them for advice. Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens. Getting good proper referrals is the best way to get the best return on investment of quality. Look for good consultants and people who really have your best interests in mind and are not just trying to take your money. Then go learn as much as you possibly can, take online classes, community college classes, buy books, research; invest in yourself and in your own knowledge.
Success for is seeing his clients blossom and make money. The biggest success that Brian gets is when they recommend him to somebody else. From a personal standpoint, it is making a difference in a way that changes people’s lives. I don’t care whether it’s through my business, or donating my time. “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”
I’ve reinvented myself so many times, I’m very successful and always working harder to be better. The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.