Social Media has been around for a few years now. However, for many business owners, it is still a foreign concept. They understand traditional marketing. They add their name and maybe pay for an ad in the local telephone book; pay for a commercial on television or use a radio spot; they pay to have a postcard designed and mailed to random people, based on their zip codes. This is “tried and true” marketing and they are comfortable with it. Thy understand how to track their ROI, even when the ROI is falling.
Because of the way Social Media started – as a place for kids to share music and rate pretty girls—they are suspicious. Because they don’t understand it, they are not willing to allocate enough money from their tight budgets to enable this new type of marketing to be successful. Tracking ROI is not as straightforward.
Social Media Has Grown Up
The fact is that Social Media has grown up. There now over a billion people active on Social Sites. And they are not there only to catch up on old school chums or rekindle lost romances. These sites have become the places where people look for products and services, research and review companies, ask their “friends” for recommendations, and open a dialog with the company. (A couple of years ago I Tweeted a complaint about my local Home Depot. Within an hour I had a Tweet back, asking me to contact their customer service representative so he could solve the problem. )
A recent article in Inc. puts it this way: “The point is that social media isn’t only about ROI. And it isn’t only about sales. Social media is about branding, opening channels of communication with customers, building loyalty, being transparent and establishing good will. And if you cover all of those bases, then guess what? If your product or service is worthy, you will most definitely see a return on your investment.” (Inc.)
Social Advertising Changes the Game
In terms of ROI, what are even more compelling are the fairly new Social Media ads that are now available on many of the social sites. Facebook and other sites have realized that people are looking for products and services on their sites, and are using the massive amounts of data about their members in order to help businesses market to the right people. And the good news is that reaching potential customers is far less expensive on Social Sites.
According to studies done by Nuanced Media, “Digital marketing platforms, such as Google AdWords, LinkedIn, and Facebook offer the lowest CPM (Cost per 1,000) in advertising history! Traditional marketing media, such as magazine ads may cost a business $20 or more to reach 1,000 people. The same thing can be accomplished on Facebook for pennies on the dollar. In fact, it costs an average of only $0.25 to reach 1,000 people through Facebook!”
It’s Time to Get Serious About Social Media
Is your traditional marketing ROI as good as it was a few years ago? If you are looking for new customers, are you finding them? If you can’t answer these questions positively you need to rethink your strategy.
Consumers are becoming more tech savvy — and more “social.” And this is a trend that is not showing signs of stopping. Facebook and other social media sites understand this and are capitalizing on the information contained in their data bases by offering more and more advertising opportunities to businesses. Companies that are not capitalizing on this large and interested audience, not hiring people who thoroughly understand how Social Media Marketing is done, and are not allocating the resources to fund a robust Social Media campaign will find themselves lagging far behind their competition.