One of the many benefits of the interactive part of social media is the access to "real-time experts" and knowledgeable industry colleagues.
I've been following a LinkedIn Media Professionals discussion on the topic of the "tangible merits" of Social Media - as to what is actually measureable. -have to admit - I am now very engaged in Social Media, but, would say that Social Media is still largely the "Wild West" - "directly measureable" results are inconsistent and relatively modest. But, there do appear to be measureable trends that are emerging.
One discussion commentator summarized the topic very well - that is that part of the issue is in how the results are being analyzed - in expecting "stand alone results" rather than measuring Social Media as part of an "overall- integrated marketing campaign".
Some simple takeaways from the ongoing discussion:
Social Media is about
- communication - it is simply a "new tool" to accomplish building awareness, interaction, and creating access.
- relationships - this has always been a fundamental/foundational objective of "all things marketing".
- "clustering" - enables "value connection" with "like-minded souls". That is people can now easily find others with whom they share common interests which is useful for gathering information, having productive and enjoyable social interaction, and making important decisions including purchases.
- "earning the right to ask a favor" - because there is an expected exchange of value. Trust relationships are enabled much faster and information given or shared demands greater accountability because of easier verification - conversation occurs "in public". The give and take nature of the "social media conversation" makes the "asking" a mutually beneficial transaction.
Social Media Today | There Is No ROI From Social Media!
1. MASS MEDIA IS NO LONGER 'THE LINK' TO THE MARKET
2. THE 'LINK' IS NOW SOCIAL INTENT - "..an exchange which helps people find what they want and need...
3. ROI is now an ECONOMY OF INTENT...that is driven by your 'intent of returning-value (IOR)'... as opposed to a one way push to get people to buy things from you...
4. The DIFFERENCE between THOSE THAT CREATE ROI and THOSE THAT DON'T is INTENT..