During these tough economic times I notice more and more marketers increasing their scrutiny and turning their attention towards campaign measurement. They find comfort returning to the “trusted” channels without giving social media a chance.

Social media is not limited to MySpace or Facebook. Last night on Channel 7 news broadcast, a segment talked about how consumers were receiving a quicker response through social networks then traditional toll free customer service “push 4 for technical support” Comcast hell.

The consumers method dealing with Comcast?  Twitter.

Within 3 hours of making a request on the popular micro-blogging network that Comcast had a representative on ( here is my social media push to Comcast’s Twitter profile ) the customer had a technician at his door and a month long nightmare rectified.

Interesting use of social media with a positive media plug!

The paradox of the argument is that social networking is the most trackable, and measurable medium ever created thus far. Not only are there traditional web metrics but marketers can tap into online segment resources and even pinpoint influences. You just have to choose which metrics you want to track. Social media is measurement heaven.

Social Media Campaigns are Affordable

Remember the “I” side of ROI. Facebook, YouTube, Blogs and other free accounts come with attached metrics and are FREE. A recent project we worked on cost roughly $50,000 for a 6 month campaign. What’s the cost of production and placement on a 30-second TV spot?

Choosing metrics is easy when discipline is used. It’s not a question of page views, unique visitors, followers or track-backs. Different measurements match different situations.

For a lead generation campaign you would probably want to know which websites are bringing you the most traffic, which ones are sending you long-stay visitors or pushing conversions.

Web Metrics May Not be Meaningful

You could be surprised at the results of a social media marketing campaign. The result could be an increase in favorable media coverage or positive online reviews at other websites. In the world of millions of new influences, traffic, page views and click thrus are meaningless compared to the effects of word-of-mouth online marketing for your company or client.

Don’t let the industry’s lack of agreement on social media metrics deter you from an experiment. Social media marketing programs are low-cost and low-risk bets.

Forrester Research predicts that small businesses in the United States will grow their social media budgets by 20-30% in the next year. Do they know something you don’t?

2 Responses to Yes, Give Social Media a Try

  1. Palapple | SEO Solutions for your Business

  2. I work at a New Media Communications firm in Boston, 451 Marketing (www.451marketing.com) and we do a lot of work with Social Media. I am always trying to learn more about the topic, and just wanted to thank you for your insights

    Divij Bhatia | August 15, 2008at 1:55 pm

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