Here at PRISM, we spend a lot of time talking about that magical acronym, ROI. In our most recent newsletter, we reported that 68% of B2B companies in the U.S. allocate just 5% or less of their company revenue to marketing. Budgets are tight. We get that. Luckily, the digital age enables you to track and measure virtually every marketing initiative you undertake— information that translates into ROI.
But what about social media? For many, it is an essential part of doing business in 2012; more than 75% of small businesses have at least one page on a social media site. What can be daunting, however, is the energy it takes to produce and implement a quality, integrated, social media plan for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or the next great social platform. So, given the time involved, how do you gauge the return on investment for social activities?
A recent blog from Sonia Simone and Sean Jackson of Copyblogger.com attacked this issue head on, with some interesting thoughts. “Smart companies see social media marketing as an integral part of doing business — a necessity no less important than the company email system, their computers, or their office lease. Social media marketing is about efficiency.” Simone and Jackson maintain that marketing is a process of optimizing the resources used to communicate and relate with a customer. Consequently, they see social media as an opportunity for all businesses to reach out to potential customers, prove value as a brand and open a conversation that makes it easier for them to buy from you.
Is there value in that? We think so. And while we know that social media is not the Holy Grail for every business, we do think that wise, measured engagement can be purposeful. Value can be found from the:
- Generation of profit that stems from the culture you have created around your company
- Extension of your brand reach
- Organic traffic that gets directed to your website from social media outlets
What do you think? How is your company using social media as part of your marketing plan?
Let us know!