Social Media: Your best allocation of time and resources

Social Media is perceived as becoming increasingly important to business.  Facebook is being touted as the most significant player in the game and YouTube has gained a reputation as the 2nd largest search engine.

But what really works? Where are companies who use the various social media tools finding the most success?  Identifying this makes the decision regarding allocation of time and resources a lot easier.

In the ‘old’ days of print advertising and traditional marketing, there was a saying that agencies both loved to use and hated to have flung in their faces: “Only 50% of advertising / marketing works.  The trouble is identifying which 50%”.

For the past decade or more, this has spelled the demise of more than one agency and given rise to superstar direct marketers of the likes of Jay Abraham and Dan Kennedy who followed in the footsteps of the ‘fathers’ of direct marketing such as PT Barnum, Robert Collier and Claude Hopkins… and of course the well known icons such as David Oglivy.

Those direct marketing principles stil work.  But today, we have a whole new set of delivery mediums which didn’t exist 10 to 15 years ago.

It’s very easy to jump onto the Social Media bandwagon and find that although you’re a direct marketer, you’re not seeing the results this new media promised.  Why is this?  Probably because too much time and attention is focused in the wrong places.

One of the biggest issues with doing Social Media correctly is that it takes so long to get all your bases covered that it makes it overwhelming for most small to medium sized companies.  The focus also tends to end up on the most glamorous mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and so on.

While these are, of course, important, it’s interesting to note that currently, a survey of Inc 500 companies showed that these were not the areas where they were finding the most success with their social media activities.

According to a recent study by the University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research) , cited in an article by eMarketer, these organizations had the most success with (in order):

  • message / bulletin boards (forums etc)
  • podcasting
  • blogging
  • online video
  • Twitter
  • and then… Facebook

At the end of the day, what it boils down to is a few common sense objectives:

  • Cover all the social media venues as quickly and consistently as possible. To do this effectively definitely requires a system which utilizes across the board scheduling and information syndication – there is absolutely no way to do this manually unless you devote an entire department exclusively to this on a full time basis.
  • Don’t fall in love with your favorite medium: continually evaluate your results both short and long term from each
  • Don’t get so caught up in the concept of social media that you forget to base all your activities on solid marketing plans – having a symphony orchestra with each member playing their own tune is simply noise no matter what their artistic potential.

Other than that… Social Media is simple.  It’s immediate.  It’s powerful. It’s a concept whose time has definitely arrived.

For a free white paper about how businesses are leveraging the new online marketing platforms, go to http://focusedleadgeneration.com – fill in your email details where indicated and an email with an instant download link will be sent to you.

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