For something that has only been in existence in the last 10 years, social media has gotten a lot of press. It has also grown in complexity as it has gone from a place for friends to get together to something companies develop entire strategies around. This can be quite daunting.
Here are a few thoughts that may help.
1. Now is now. Some people believe social media is a fad that will be replaced with something else that will be replaced with something else. With well over 1 billion people engaged in social media and a projected $5.9 billion to be spent on social media advertising it is not likely going anywhere soon, but, yes, eventually it will.
Here’s the thing though: That’s OK. It doesn’t mean it should be avoided. What is working now should be utilized now. It would be silly to think that just because one day we will be watching holograms instead of TV that we should abandon TV or refuse to get caught up in it.
Use social media now because it works now. Eighty-nine percent of people are more likely to purchase a product because a friend recommends it. Social media is a loudspeaker for people to recommend products and services to their friends.
2. Social media plays well with others. Using social media doesn’t mean abandoning marketing vehicles that have worked in the past. Incorporating social media into current marketing campaigns can increase response rates and make your brand appear more relevant to younger demographics.
Most traditional media outlets have already created social media presences and are willing to promote their customers’ social media properties if they exist.
3. Social media is more than a profit center. Social has so many more purposes than just getting likes. Using it just to advertise products or services is just a small part of its power, and that’s why asking “What’s the ROI?” as the sole reason for dismissing or adopting social media isn’t the best way to look at it.
What’s the ROI of your customer service or market research or brand reputation? Social media can be a powerful tool for all of these, and intangibly they help the bottom line. Ask questions, get feedback. Doing so can identify needs that your customer has but aren’t getting met and could open the door to new profit centers.
Noah Yaughn owns Arc Media Group, which works with businesses to build relationships with their customers through Web development, search engine optimization and social media.