To Get Return On Social Media Marketing, You Must Invest

At Continuous Beta, my FM colleague Pete Spande draws a distinction between the reality that conversational marketing can be enormously efficient and the myth that it’s free.

“That is the trick with Social Media. It isn’t free but the low cost of the tools make it feel free from a distance.

“If you go to where the people are (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, the ‘blogosphere,’ etc) you must invest time, money, and energy to stimulate a conversation. Marketers can and do create fan pages, groups, and even applications for very little money. But creating them and getting people to use them are two very different things. The people who become a fan of you your brand within Facebook or subscribe to your brand blog’s RSS feed are the people your brand has already converted. To grow beyond that base you must invest money, time, and energy.”

Many marketers are using social media platforms to create noise — getting customers to a fan page — without joining those customers in an actual conversation. In Battelle’s response to Pete’s post, he proposes how brands can begin to converse.

“First, finding the true leaders of a community you care about, and engaging them in a dialog about how best to join the conversation they lead. What you come up with just might be something like HP’s VoicePosts, Intel’s embedding code and support of BB’s OffWorld, or American Express’ Open Forum.

“Secondly, I like the approach of determining you have something valuable to add on your own, and you might become a publisher in your own right, as long as what you build is truly valuable. That’s how you end up with Microsoft’s CrowdFire, or Asus’

(or come to think of it, American Express’ Open Forum again).”

  1. # Are Social Networks The New Word Of Mouth? « said: January 12th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

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