Ryan Ruud-How effective is social media in growing a business?


Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Ryan Ruud.Here’s that interview.

About the interviewee

Ryan Ruud (http://ryanruud.com) is an online marketing, PR and digital strategy exec and entrepreneur. As the founder of Digital Pine Marketing (http://www.digitalpinemarketing) Ryan works with organizations focused on growth by connecting content and strategy creating meaningful, profitable relationships in a digital-centric world.

As Vice President of Marketing at Result150 (http://www.result150.com), a digital media startup in financial services, Ryan helps the nations largest credit unions connect with members through digital channels to provide members with financial education while helping credit unions grow share of wallet.

Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.). 

Both companies are located in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Digital Pine Marketing works with organizations from startup to multimillion-dollar companies looking to strategically tackle their digital channels.

Result150 works with credit unions of all sizes, currently our clients combined asset-size exceeds $40 billion)

What type and size of companies do you have as clients?

See above.

What comes to mind when you see this topic?

I see organizations that struggle to integrate social across their organization and think that social media can operate effectively in a silo and produce results. I call it the purple squirrel effect. People want results from their social media investment but they don’t know how to measure it and they don’t know how to integrate it or approach it strategically. They also have expectations of immediate returns and that it’s free.

What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?

The best things a business can do are
Take it easy. Don’t go all in. Think about your business and your customers and pick the right platforms to start with.
Test as you go. Listen to what your customers and social network is saying. Be reactive.
Have a follow through. Social media can’t grow your business if there isn’t an end game. Drive your followers into a store, back to a website or some sort of engagement that can be measured and monetized.
Integrate. Social should be a part of your whole business. Customer service, other marketing and advertising. Contribute part of your ad budget to social ad spend as well.

How effective is social media in growing a business?

The effectiveness of social media is equal to the momentum or effort behind social media. A business can take a Ronco food process approach to social media, set it and forget it. Expecting that setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account with a few posts is enough isn’t going to net results. Attacking social media with effort that combines a content strategy, an understanding of buyer personas and blending paid and organic will greatly increase the reach of social efforts and ultimately the inbound sales leads and in the end grow your business. For example: the right content with the right blend of promotion strategies (paid and organic) can be 10x more effective in attracting and converting audiences than content without the blended promotion strategy. Why? Paid gives your content the boost and organic gives extra lift to make your dollar go farther.

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