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Making Money

DATE PUBLISHED: March 02, 2012
It’s hard to believe that it was just a few short years ago that social media came to be “the one.” Think about it – only three years ago Facebook was boasting about 350 million users (they’re predicted to hit one billion in August!) Twitter became a mainstream word thanks to Oprah and others who began tweeting to their fans. And a relatively unknown company called LinkedIn began using its resources to let recruiters search for prospective employees on their site.

But while social media was and is generating tons and tons of press and talk on every network newscast, companies of every size are still asking whether or not “social media” is worth the money that they’re spending on it. They’re still asking if it really helps build sales and really does their company any good. These are the same questions they were asking five years ago!

Truth is, of course it helps build sales. Of course it does their company good. That’s “IF” they’re using social media as a marketing channel to communicate with their customers – and not using it to try to directly sell a product. It’s a big “if” – but if a company really wants to be successful with social media, that’s the way it is. Period. Done. NO exceptions.

Other CEOs and CFOs are asking, “show me results.” “Show me where my social media budget is helping grow the bottom line.” Well, there is a bunch of software that helps measure audience size, audience engagement and how their audience (which by the way is their customers and potential customers) is interacting with the content they’re putting out on the social media channels. Are they commenting on the posts the company is putting out? Are they clicking on links? Are they re-tweeting company updates?

If companies can see that all the time, energy and effort – not to mention money – that they’re putting into social media is helping to increase brand or product awareness, they’ll more readily accept the value of using social media.

For the company bean counters to ask whether or not social media is of any value, it’s really critical for them to remember that they need to have a single identity across each and every social media platform in order to be successful.

Here’s another point to make - a company can send out blog entries, tweets or Facebook updates about a product or sale, then put out a discount coupon code using Twitter. It’s the same message in every channel, and by pumping out discount codes on Twitter it ties the message together in a way that could have a direct impact on their bottom line. That ought to make those CEOs and CFOs smile.

Does social media really have any value? At this point in the evolution of social media marketing, do you really have to ask?

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