Andrey Shirben is a seasoned Seed Investor and Entrepreneur. Amongst his investments you can find companies such as Kenshoo, ILoveThisBox.com.au, Incauda, Face.com, Saguna, BehavioReal, and Storwize which was sold to IBM for $140M. Andrey is also a member of Sydney Angels investment group.
He has a unique combination of vast technological experience, business leadership, sales and marketing skills, having over 10 years of experience in online marketing and social media strategy, specializing in the retail & travel sectors, overseeing over $5B of advertising budgets over the past few years all over the globe.
Andrey’s presentation at the CeBIT Social Enterprise conference was all about explaining that Social Media is an investment not just an expense.
He began by pointing out that social media is a complex area that is constantly changing. Andrey said his own knowledge has doubled since Christmas 2011. If you take your eye off social media changes for some time your understanding can be out of date quite fast.
Are you doing social media for the right reasons is the question he asked delegates. Doing it because it’s cool, all your competitors are there, US/European companies are there and many people use it are all the wrong reasons.
The real reasons he said should be because you want to engage with your customers, listening to the wisdom of the crowds, getting new customers and yes because there are so many people using it.
In terms of social media strategy he put forward the question – where do you want your organisation to be in 1 month, 1 year, 10 years? Without a clear plan and social strategy you’ll not achieve much, also social media is not a standalone marketing method.
Don’t overestimate likes, they can be bought easily. You want to gain relevent likes from existing and potential customers, give users a good reason to like you, provide relevent and interesting content helps create a healthy engagement with your fans, make them feel good about their purchase
There are no overnight success formulas. It’s all down to lots of planning, hard work, readjusting, more hard work.
When calculating investment pay out make sure you have proper tracking/analytics in place and consider how will you define a pay out/ROI goal and how will you know your user lifetime value / ARPU.