Does Social Sell?

Posted: February 14, 2010 in Advertising & Marketing, Social Media & Networking

For all the excitement about social media, there’s a specter hanging over its use by companies. Is all this Tweeting, blogging and Facebooking paying off? For some proponents, the question is irrelevant. They agree with the view encapsulated in the social media bible The Cluetrain Manifesto — markets are conversations. Companies have to participate in the conversations where they’re happening, ROI be damned. Their dismissal of metrics is summed up in an oft-repeated question, “What’s the ROI of putting on your pants on in the morning?”

Those kind of pithy ripostes are music to the ears of the social-media faithful at conferences and on blogs, but they’re unlikely to impress budget-strapped CMOs who, while eager to find new ways to reach consumers, are under more pressure to prove their efforts are pushing the business forward. Measurement remains the single greatest challenge to social-media adoption by companies.

While digital channels and online interactions offer a plethora of data points, they don’t come with a set playbook for assigning value. Marketers have grown comfortable with formulas like gross ratings points and frequency, time-tested formulas for building brands in traditional media. Yet with social media, what’s a Facebook friend worth?

“The value of social media is it’s the richest data set that’s ever existed,” says Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights, a Wisconsin-based analytics company that uses social media to help clients make marketing decisions. “You can use this data for many things.” (Find out more)

  1. Lon Safko says:

    Great blog! Check out the real Social Media Bible at\
    – Lon Safko
    Author of The Social Media Bible

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