Social Media: A promising new channel or another Internet Bubble?
The last few years Social Media Marketing became more and more popular since many businesses felt obliged to build their own campaigns and explore this new form of marketing. After a while, many companies considered social media a promising new channel that can help them connect with their customers while others considered it another internet bubble. Of course as it happens in most of the cases the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Social Media Statistics
In order to understand the importance of social media and their impact on businesses let’s check the following statistics:
- 15% of social media users are more inclined to buy from brands that advertise in social media
- 25% are more likely to find out more about brands that advertise on social media sites
- 67% more likely to buy a brand they follow on Twitter
- 79% more likely to recommend a brand they follow on Twitter
- 75% of Brand ‘Likes’ on Facebook come from advertisements
- 22% of Fortune 500 companies now have a public-facing blog
- 42% of US companies used Social Media Marketing in 2008. (88% in 2012)
- 18% of new content found online is found through social media
- 46% of Internet users worldwide interact with social media on a daily basis
- Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn increased by 100% their registered users in just 12 months
Note that you can find more mind blowing social media stats on Web PRO News and on Social Media Explorer.
Of course the above statistics do not actually answer the real question which is “what is the actual Return on Investment on Social Media campaigns”? (After all let’s not forget that using Statistics is probably the most scientific way to lie!)
Social Media ROI (or Return On Ignorance)
It’s true, measuring the ROI of a Social Media campaign is not a straight forward process. Sure, you can measure the number of sales that you have generated from the campaigns and even see how your brand awareness has been affected, but is this all? Certainly not! How can you measure the knowledge that you acquired by interacting with your customers, by learning from what your clients are saying and by understanding their needs? These are probably few of the most important gains that you get after investing on Social Media Marketing.
As we have explained in the past the evaluation of a social media campaign should not be done only based on the number of sales that you have generated but also based on the knowledge that you have acquired by connecting with your audience. Remember that social media can help you create a community around your brand and convert followers into loyal customers.
Of course it is obvious that Social Media will not provide the same results for all companies, industries, products and services. It’s normal to see that B2C companies are benefitted more comparing to B2B. Also companies that sell products and services that target on very niche markets, usually don’t find general purpose Social Networks such as Facebook very helpful. As we explained in the article “The Social Media best practices for Businesses”, make sure you conduct extensive research before you select the appropriate communication channels.
The effect of Social Media on Online Marketing
Developing a successful Social Media Marketing campaign will also affect the performance of other Marketing and Promotional activities. As we discussed in the past your SEO campaign is heavily affected by your Social Media reputation since Twitter & Facebook links affect the rankings on Google and Bing. Moreover the Social Media layers that Google uses (especially the +1 button) will affect your PPC campaigns. Last but not least, developing a solid social media campaign can help you engage users to promote your company via Word of Mouth and generate buzz around your brand.
Social Media Marketing is a great new tool for Online Marketers and it has a lot of potentials. Developing a successful social media campaign is a difficult and time consuming task but if it is implemented correctly it can positively affect your business and improve your online reputation.