Social media marketing offers benefits beyond those that can be immediately quantified in dollars.
Sure, the best-case scenario for everyone is being able to establish a direct correlation between a company’s social media budget and an impressive increase in sales, or significant lowering of costs (due to less money going to print ads, for example). Sometimes this can be done, but many times it can’t.
But social media campaigns where a brand develops a strong social media presence but cannot measure the campaign’s success in dollars, are not necessarily unsuccessful.
Analyst Laura Ramos cautions that social media shouldn’t necessarily be relied on as a source for generating qualified leads, but as a platform to foster engagement. Says Ramos, “I see social media as a tool marketers are looking at to create awareness and demand, and I think it’s going to be more of a tool for how to establish and maintain relationships, grow those customer relationships and ultimately, turn those customers into advocates for you.”
According to analyst Augie Ray, social media offers important benefits even if they’re not all financial benefits. These include brand awareness and loyalty – a successful social media campaign has the power to improve consumer attitudes about the brand; and risk management- social media enables an organization to immediately become aware of, and respond to, attacks or problems that affect reputation. Needless to say, these benefits do affect a company financially – long term.
One of my clients has recently told me that she sees incredible value in our social media campaign even though it never directly brought her clients. She said that her online presence, and especially her blog, brings her credibility. Through her Twitter account, she was invited to speak at a prestigious conference. And recently, a participant in a survey she was recruiting for, had told her that he initially thought her offer was a scam, but then he visited her blog and became convinced that her firm was for real.
Blogging and social media may not be directly responsible for your business growth, but they indirectly help by creating legitimacy, authority and trust. For any business I can think of, these are unquantifiable – and priceless.