Recently there has been a lot of talk about social media as a marketing tool and whether or not it is actually an effective measurement tool. I would postulate that the problems with answering this question is the question itself. Is the telephone an effective marketing tool? Is email an effective marketing tool? Is direct marketing an effective marketing tool? People ask these questions when the real question they should be asking is – are these effective marketing mediums. Social Media is another medium that allows companies to communicate with their customers and prospects. Plain and simple. To think of it as much more is to give it too much credit.
When you start thinking of it this way, the first question that you would ask is – what is the return. On direct mail you ask – if I mail this many pieces, what should I expect for a response. On a phone campaign you ask – if I invest in this many calls, what should I expect for a response. The same can be said with social media campaigns. Ask yourself – if I invest this many dollars into a campaign, what is the response I expect to achieve. In fact, I often recommend that clients work the other way – lay out your expectations first and then design the program based on these expectations and then see if you have the investment dollars to support.
For anyone who says you cannot measure the investment, the response should be simple – thanks and good luck. That is the defense mechanism that lots of “consultants” put up to protect themselves from the pressure of targets. Don’t allow for it. All marketing and outreach campaigns are measurable. And digital media and social media are no different.
Are they? Should they be?