6 Levels of Social Media Investment

Recently, I wrote that it was time for leaders to get on board with social media.  Some were confused.

What did I mean?

A few people thought I was advocating for huge social media marketing budgets and ignoring the need for a return on investment (ROI).  I don’t like wasting money, so I need to clarify the difference between opening an account on a social networking channel and doing full-fledged social media marketing campaigns with original content.

There are varying levels of investment.

A sliding social media investment scale starts with simply opening an account and ends when an organization is actively creating content and launching innovative social media marketing.

There is no guarantee of a proportionate return on an increasing investment.  The more you invest, the higher chance that you could be wasting resources.  However, the less you invest, the higher chance that you’re missing out on new opportunities.  The most successful marketing leaders will find the sweet spot for their organizations.

To illustrate, here are the 6 levels as I see them, along with some examples:

Level 0) I can’t find you on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin

Level 1) Offering a One Way Communication Channel

Level 2) Listening and Learning

Level 3) Engaging

Level 4) Content Sharing

Level 5) Content Creation

How much do you need to do on Social Media before you begin wasting resources? That is the Billion Dollar question.  Let me know if you come up with the answer for everyone.

What’s your take?

Have a great night,


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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

7 comments on “6 Levels of Social Media Investment”

  1. Aaron,

    Great post, I really like how you brought all this social media frenzy back to reality. Most leaders, and by this I mean SMB owners have no idea what this is all about.

    Wasting resources? I spent around 20hrs a week on SM, I gain business from it so I never see as a waste.

    1. Thanks for the compliment John. I would agree that although most small business owners understand that social media is a new way of communicating, they don’t understand it strategically. Consequently, they make black and white type decisions with simply yes or no decisions. My post will hopefully help them understand that there are shade of social media involvement and investment levels.

      Thanks for stopping by John. Glad to connect on twitter too.

    1. Thanks for the compliment Dave. I might spend some time doing that and see what happens. Great idea! Thanks!

  2. I LOVE this gaming approach to social media – you’re onto something.

    Level 4 certainly builds upon Level 3. To truly engage your audience, you have to listen, learn, and adapt. Level 2 is interesting. Chris Brogan calls that the tribe approach, whereas a centralized power or leader unifies people via a unified vision.

    I do not agree with that model but it gives us insight into how old-school businesses think. Social media is what you make of it. A company like Apple may get away with one-way communication but us smaller businesses thrive on authenticity and high levels of engagement.

    From a game designer’s perspective, what could be the “boss battle” or “achievements” at each level? What about the ultimate level? Hmmmmm…

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