Marketing in the Making

Marketing; Thoughts and Questions

Still unsure about Social Media?

Before you read any further, please watch the video below.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.  Ever since I first saw the video, I have thought that it was brilliant.

Ok, so now, you have hopefully watched it.  What do think?  I found it on the blog, Socialnomics by Erik Qualman, which is an excellent blog.

Through this video and various other sources, I have convinced myself that social media is not just a fad.  However, there are still plenty of people who are hesitant of using it.  Why is it that there are still people and businesses not tapping into social media’s possibilities especially when they are so easy to access?

Here are some possible reasons:

  1. There are always those who will not want to participate in something.
  2. Many are still trying to understand the “right” way to use it.
  3. It is difficult to determine the Return on Investment (ROI).

There are probably a few others, but for the purposes of this post, this will do.  I want to discuss number three, the difficulty in determining the ROI.

Social media’s growth certainly is amazing, but “the problem with trying to determine the ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.” (Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer, 2008)

Statistics are available for almost all social media sites either through an outside source or directly through the site, which is great for knowing how many persons click on a link or visit your page.  But, how does a discussion between two customers get factored in or a comment on Facebook about a problem with a certain product?

These comments are not ones that can be recorded numerically, but rather make up possible customer’s opinions.  This opinion, I would say is probably the most important.  If people care more about what others are saying about your company than what you (the company) say about it, you (the company) need(s) to know what they are saying.  They will be talking about your company either way; you may as well listen and use what you can.

That is the great thing about social media.  It allows companies to interact with their customers on a more personal level in a public environment.  Social media is allowing companies to build that personal connection more simply which can make all the difference in keeping a customer.  Check out @comcastcares from Comcast on Twitter and see what Zappos is doing with Twitter as well.  They seem to have found a way to build that connection.

Although the exact numbers of the ROI are difficult to find, the long run result can be even more beneficial as long as you (the company) actually pay(s) attention to what your customers and their friends are saying.

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3 thoughts on “Still unsure about Social Media?

  1. Pingback: Personal Care 101

  2. Jonathan on said:

    First of, cool blog, i’m looking forward to knew posts. This video though, annoyed me because it uses big numbers without enough context. It also sets a large dichotomy, that social media is either as big as the industrial revolution, or a fad. Clearly it is not a fad, but to compare it to the industrial revolution is sort of kooky. Fundamentally changed the fundamental nature of how a society operated, by redefining social systems, gender roles, food production, how goods are produced, and even how they are distributed.

    As to what you wrote: I feel like the relative newness, of social media makes it hard to put an exact number to the effectiveness of social media for marketing. in the quote “the problem with trying to determine the ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.” I think the problem is that ultimately it has to be quantifiable. A company won’t spend the money to get into social media, IE paying the people to read and respond to company twitter and Facebook and other accounts, unless they feel that the ROI is higher than the amount they pay these people. Do you have any ideas of ways to quantify the effects of social media have on peoples buying habits?

  3. Thanks Personal Care 101!

    Jonathan, I understand your annoyance with the video, but allow me to point something out. The video not only points out that Social Media is not a fad, but also that it is growing at a remarkable pace that seems to be changing how we use the internet. In the sense of marketing, it is redefining how we do marketing. It is a move away from print and towards online.

    I agree completely with your statement about how companies want to see a higher ROI for the amount they will be paying those to keep their social media updated. As for quantifying Social Media effects on peoples buying habits, I am unsure. I am interested to learn about this as well. Do you have ideas and insight?

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