Social Media: The Bottom Line

Particularly in recessionary periods, it can be difficult to focus time and effort on projects that do not clearly or immediately effect your bottom line. While the corporate community’s usage of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter over the past year have increased drastically, many companies are clearly hesitant to fully commit time and resources to developing an effective social media strategy.

Without full committment, you’ll almost certainly be disappointed with your results.

In fact, companies that enter the social media space without a true purpose (aside from pushing their products) are more likely to damage their brand than do any good for it’s image.  

It’s important that marketers view social media as an opportunity to interact with and learn from customers who are willing to communicate about the brands they love (or disapprove of).  Not only will they gain valuable insight to how products can be improved, these interactions will also create a connection between the brand and the customer that can be very difficult to duplicate offline.

People like to communicate with people.

Not many people are interested in communicating with a company.  Most would rather communicate with a person they can more easily relate to within an organization.   Develop brand ambassadors that will communicate the values and beliefs of your organization to existing and potential customers online amd take advantage of the opportunity to build real relationships.

So this year, instead of focusing all of your efforts on how to boost short-term revenue, recognize the long term benefits of a focused social media strategy.  Though it may be difficult to justify a project that lacks a revenue tag for 2010, the customer insights that can be uncovered are invaluable and will attribute for far more future revenue than any short term pricing gimmick could ever produce.