Social media is free. So, does that make it a cost-effective marketing platform?
Statistics beg to differ. According to a report from Vocus, more than 35% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) spend an average of $845 a month on tools or cloud services for social media management. Thirty-two percent of the participants, however, spent $1,000 for the same end, while 22% outsource the service.
“What I’ve been noticing more and more is there’s finally this acceptance that social media not only isn’t going away, it’s an essential element of the marketing mix and the real challenge now is to figure out how to integrate it into the total online and offline marketing presence,” said John Jantsch, creator of Duct Tape Marketing.
Jantsch’s company conducted research related to social media as a marketing tool. Here are some of the figures as seen on ZDNet:
• 76 percent of the respondents use referral traffic to their Web site or e-commerce platform as the primary means of measuring social media’s effectiveness
• 87 percent believe social media has been “somewhat helpful” or “helped a great deal”
• 40 percent are focusing on a small but highly engaged audience
• For 91 percent of the respondents, the most common use of social media is information sharing
To invest in a social media marketing campaign, you’ll have to $845 to $1,000. While this isn’t a small amount, if you consider other marketing channels it’s relatively cheap. But remember, its effectiveness depends on its maintenance–which is a very tedious process. For instance, companies need to regularly check their accounts for consumer messages—which should be responded to by a person and not an automated machine.