Apr 12 2012

Social media: Better than a 3-legged donkey

Why should your business be interested in Social Media

 

Because it’s somewhat of a bandwagon and bandwagons are always super tempting to jump on?

 

Well, you might arrive at a more informed decision when you consider that Social Media is potentially the holy grail of brand amplification tools for the present, the future and everything in-between.

 

But why take my word for it?

 

Well the answer is simple. It’s not just my word you would be taking. It’s the word of hundreds of others.

 

I recently attended a Social Media Benchmark event, organised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, in collaboration with IPSOS ISI and Bloomberg.

 

The event itself and the idea of the benchmark is to deliver a definitive guide to how businesses are adapting to, investing in and getting value from Social Media.

 

Their research is being undertaken in two ‘waves’. One key figure to come out of wave 1 was that 71% of respondents are using Twitter for business, with 56%, 53% and 41% for Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube respectively.

 

This highlights to me just how seriously businesses are now taking Social Media, with many seeing it as something they ‘have to do’, which is great, as the Social Media revolution is clearly gaining momentum with every passing tweet.

 

But I say this with an air of caution. If it’s viewed as a bandwagon to jump on, or a ‘have to do’, then are businesses really going to reap the rewards that Social Media can clearly deliver?

 

I worry that there’ll be many businesses that just dip their toes in the water, having a go at Social Media because it’s ‘the done thing’.

 

Businesses that will then go about their daily work, oblivious to the fact that unless they manage this new ‘social face’ of their brand consistently, with a particular strategy in mind,Social Media will deliver a return on investment similar to that of someone who purchases a 3 legged donkey and expects it to win the National.

 

This is epitomised by a couple of the findings from wave 1 of the Social Media Benchmark research. These show that the highest percentage of respondents to the questions ‘why are marketers using social media’, answered with ‘Just experimenting’, whilst even more tellingly, only 4% of respondents said that their business has a dedicated Social Media manager.

 

I believe that part of this can be overcome by educating businesses on the benefits of “Social Media”, helping even the most hard nosed director to see – in the language they care about most – the ROI of Social Media for their business.

 

So let’s see where the ROI lies.

 

Social Media allows you to:

  • Monitor discussion amongst competitors and potential customers
  • Generate sales leads by targeting keyword searches
  • Drive traffic to your company website – Increasing sales enquiries
  • Interact with people you’d never have reached through other mediums
  • Market your business for free, as others share your content
  • Respond to positive and negative sentiment to your brand
  • Position your business as a trusted source for information

 

Add to this the opportunity to target specific demographics and Social Media is definitely worth more than a punt.

 

Imagine you were a jeweller that sold exquisite engagement rings. How about using Facebook advertising to target women, aged 18 to 35, oh and why not pop in a filter for those whose relationship status is ‘engaged’? Powerful hey?

 

So, if it’s ROI you’re interested in, you have two choices:

 

1. Invest in a Social Media manager

 

OR

 

2. Head to Blackpool beach because I hear there’s a 3 legged donkey looking for a new home

 

To find out more, click on the link and kick-start your organisation’s social media today.

 

You can also follow the latest from The Social Media Benchmark by visiting:www.smbenchmark.com or get involved in the discussion with #SMBenchmark on Twitter.

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Elly Cattermole

Our marketing and creative demon - Elly is here to keep you updated on any new developments in the industry. Her keen eye for social media updates (they happen more than you think!) and new ideas to market your business means she’s in the know for all things social.

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