Questions about social media marketing are everywhere. “Does it work, or doesn’t it?” being perhaps the most pervasive, with concerns around ROI coming in a very close second. There is a great deal of grumbling afoot as well, mostly to do with the so-called decline of organic reach and the rise of the pay-to-play system, not to mention general complaints about volume and noise, and the challenges of cutting through and rising above. Not everyone is feeling negative, however. There are a great many who quite happily engage in social media marketing, who advocate on behalf of social media marketing, who recommend social media marketing, and who benefit from social media marketing. Like us, for example!
But first, why the schism?
Sadly perhaps, it all kind of comes down to your definition of “free.” For us, social media marketing was NEVER free. Just because it doesn’t cost any money to start a Twitter account doesn’t mean social media is free. If someone gives you a hammer, is building a house free? Social media is a suite of concepts, and a suite of tools, and to understand the former and utilize the latter takes talent, training, discipline, and patience. And none of that comes for free. And none of it is easy. Take the success story I mentioned above. As you’ll see when you read the case study, we worked hard, and it wasn’t easy.
Still, people keep asking “does it work?” when it comes to social media marketing. Does it work?!? Well, yes, and no. Does it work when you invest in it? Yes. When you deploy talented practitioners who are well-trained and exhibit discipline and patience? Yes again. Does it work when you clearly define your objectives, clearly enunciate and document your strategies, and clearly identify your KPIs? Yes, yes, and yes. But does it work when you shortchange it financially by underfunding it? No. Does it work when you shortchange it talent-wise by understaffing it? No again. Does it work when you shortchange it vision-wise by excluding it from broader strategy discussions about your brand’s mission? No! Social media is a remarkably responsive organism, and you really do get out of it what you put in. But that means you DO have to put in. As our friends over at Convince and Convert recently pointed out, the “I” in the acronym ROI stands for “Investment,” yet far too many still focus only on return.
The truth is, social media marketing CAN produce genuine ROI, and it CAN generate qualified leads, and it CAN drive engagement rates. In short, it CAN work. In fact, it DOES work. And we’ve got the story to prove it.
Download now – Anatomy of a Campaign so Good, Even Twitter was Impressed – and learn practical tips on how you too can generate leads with a targeted, relevant and engaging social media campaign using Twitter Cards.