Social media is essential for business, but will it make you any money?

According to this article, there are nearly a billion people using Facebook and Twitter, yet still many companies will not invest in social media as they cannot see how they can “monetise” it. Where is the return on their investment?

The flaw in this argument, according to the article’s author, Amy Jo Martin, is that social media should not be used to market products, but as a way to communicate and build a brand. She sites three misconceptions about social media:

Social media will not save money. Apparently it can, with reduced spends on research, service and advertising.

You need a huge following to make money. Large numbers of followers do not mean influence. You have to create real value for those who do follow.

Traditional marketing can be re-used in social media. Even I knew that this doesn’t work. For example, websites are not the online equivalent of printed brochures, but a stand-alone marketing resource. Ms Martin explains that social media focusses on what people want and is not just a brand promotion vehicle.

On another aspect of social media, I find it surprising that some businesses still place ads in magazines but do not give their website address, no doubt because they don’t have one. I saw two ads today, one selling a product, the other selling a service. Space permitted only the briefest of descriptions plus a request to telephone them for further information. Would you call?

See Amy’s article (plus the comments, as not everyone agrees with her) by following this link:

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/to_monetize_social_media_humanize_it.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

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