Here comes that cry again, “Show me the money”!
Following a recent conversation with a more traditional Marketing Consultant friend of mine, it became apparent that many are still not convinced of the value of Social Media.
And whilst you may think that is a given, I was surprised at the vigour to which it is being resisted, or even advice that is being given to brands that they should not bother with it. A myopic view, that is dismissive of a medium that could compliment rather than replace existing campaigns.
The Problem with Social Media
The problem wasn’t with Social Media itself, but the belief that it didn’t offer a trackable return on investment. Using the argument that many marketeers are happy to use offline media which is infinitely harder, and more costly, to track didn’t win the case either. The weaknesses in one system do not make up for the lack of belief in another.
Some of the resistance comes from the lack of understanding of the costs involved. David Taylor argues that the impact on sales from Social Media are negligible. What he fails to note is the very low cost of engaging on these platforms, compared to running a campaign using more traditional methods. Every click is trackable, every like or follower a further opportunity to engage and influence.
Let’s Cut To The Chase
Engaging in Social Media has far more long term benefits than short term ROI, or sales as many like to measure it against. But there is no getting away from it, companies want to know that their time is as well spent as their money, and so they should. For all the rhetoric:
“People are talking about you whether you’re there or not.”
“Your competitors are in the space, so should you be.”
“What’s the ROI of your Mum.”
These are all great, but not reason enough for a company to divert budget from tried and tested forms of media.
As Well As
Firstly, we need to establish the fact that Social Media is an “as well as” medium rather than “instead of”. It’s cost of entry is very low in comparison to other forms of marketing. The pay off is that it can be time intensive. The rewards significant.
It’s not a one channel affair either. Just doing Twitter or having a Facebook page is not enough to drive a campaign in most cases. The number of Followers or Likes are not as important as the engagement, and that engagement will only come as a byproduct of offering content deemed of value. The successful campaigns all featured rich and engaging content worthy of comment or sharing.
Show Me The Money
Okay, so now I suppose you want some proof?
Adnams plc – using blogging combined with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, podcasting and Flickr – online sales up 48% with 84% directly attributable to social content.
These campaigns all vary in Brand size, implementation, cost and results. Hopefully they go someway to show that Social Media does offer an ROI, but that it takes creativity and ingenuity rather than buying power to make them effective. Marketeers of all types have an opportunity to get really creative and produce exciting campaigns for clients; campaigns that will get noticed, generate PR as much for them as it does the Brand itself.
Still not in agreement? Tell me why below.