Social Media Equity and Return on Investment

gary vee

Gary Vaynerchuck is fast becoming one social media evangelist that I always stop to listen to, follow, and agree with. Bryan Elliott recently interviewed Gary in a two part series that I would encourage every business-owner… from small to CEO… to listen to.

One point in the interview struck me – and I'm not sure that there was enough emphasis on it in the interview. Gary talked about companies putting equity into social media. Marketers and companies are often looking for the quick hit, the campaign with a great return on marketing investment. I believe businesses truly need to think about social media differently.

I've always said that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. I have clients now who are frustrated because, after several months, they aren't seeing the enormous return that some in the industry are declaring. They are seeing growth and momentum, though… and that's what we focus their attention on.

It's a lot like putting money in your retirement account and expecting to retire in a couple years. Could it happen? I suppose you could hit a stock that erupts.. but what are the chances?! The fact is that every tweet, every blog post, every Facebook response… and the subsequent following you receive… is a small investment into the future of your business. Quit looking for an immediate fix.

Just like your retirement account, watch the trends and just make sure it's heading in the right direction. Are you growing a following? Are you reaching more people? Are you getting more mentions, likes and retweets? These are all nickels, pennies and dimes getting deposited into your social media equity account.

I personally started with social media about a decade ago and have been investing weekly, if not daily. Some folks are amazed at how fast my business, DK New Media, has grown. We've had our office open a little over a year and have been full-time for ~18 months. We have 3 full-time employees and over a dozen full-time partner companies that we're working daily with. We have clients from New Zealand, all over Europe and throughout North America.

I didn't build this company in a year or two years. I built the company over the last decade, and built the expertise in another decade before that. Twenty years of investing in myself and my online community before I ever opened the doors of my business! It requires momentum, patience, humility… and non-stop pressure to succeed.

If your company begins investing sooner, rather than later, the chances of your company being robust and having a faithful community of customers and fans are great. Begin putting equity into social media today and you won't miss out. As Gary states, every transition in modern media – from newspapers, to magazines, to radio and television, have buried companies who could not adapt. If your company decides not to invest, that's fine. Your competitors will.

The risk is being too late. Trying to retire at 65 when you start saving at 60 doesn't work. Neither will investing in social media. Companies need to fundamentally change the way they look at social media, search (impacted by social) and online marketing if they home to survive tomorrow. This isn't a fad.


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    This is the way that I have been feeling for the last few weeks. It is refreshing to see your perspective on this and recognizing that social media efforts do take time even in an ‘react NOW’ type atmosphere!

    I actually just blogged about my concerns before reading this! I reread it after reading your post and saw that I had written – “I think the HARDEST part of directing social media efforts is wanting immediate results in an immediate response world!” (

    Thanks for the post Douglas! It is MUCH appreciated!

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