So, does Social Media Marketing work?

If there's one common thread running through January 2010 so far, it's Social Media Marketing. People are asking about it, buzzing about it, attending seminars about it, and many attempting to harness its power. So, what is all the fuss about? Well, that depends on who you ask actually.

Two Sides to the Story

There are two distinct sides to the Social Media subject - those who believe it "works" and those who don't. By works, we mean use of, or activity in Social Media can be "monetized". Truth be told, we haven't had or heard of any business that's been able to pinpoint any specific gain by use of Social Media Marketing. And that's precisely what the non-believers say is the reason for their poo-pooing of the tool. On the other side, there are those who say it does work, are adamant about its success and its benefits, point out the rapid and continuing increase in Social Media advertising expenditures over the past two years, and who just plain refuse to accept the negatives - despite the lack of actual revenue associated with it.

Social Media's Capabilities

To be plain and simply put, Social Media Marketing is a just another tool. And just like the other tools we use to market a business, service or product, this tool needs to be applied to the right job in order to produce the desired results. So, bottom line is this... knowing what you want to accomplish is where you start. Once you've established your goal, review all the options in your toolbox and select the right tool for the job. What is Social Media Marketing capable of producing for your business? Well, it may depend on your business, but suffice it to say that Awareness, Interaction, and Buzz are all possible end products. We all know that to be successful in business, people have to know about us, they have to have an interaction with us, and they have to talk about us.

So exactly what do we know for sure:

1. Social Media Marketing really isn't marketing at all. It's networking to build a relationship.
2. Social Media Marketing is interactive and must be two-way communication for it to work at all.
3. Online Social Media Marketing will increase the traffic to your website if applied correctly.
4. Social Media Marketing will help you manage your reputation online.
5. Social Media Marketing is extremely inexpensive, but very time consuming.
6. Social Media Marketing is here, and the smart companies will take the time and spend the money, to embrace it.
7. Social Media Marketing will result in actual revenue gains over time, when applied appropriately, and when treated with respect for the audience.

Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on, you need to be aware of Social Media's pros and cons and its capabilities and limitations.

Inspired 2 Design would like to talk to you about your company's Social Media Marketing plan, or lack thereof. Contact Us to get started, or if you're already in it, let's talk about what your doing and how to capitalize on your investment. If you're a naysayer, we'd like to talk to you especially to see what you might be missing out on.