Tech-savvy marketers, getting into social media early, have managed to stay ahead of the curve. This is because they could probably sense that a cultural transformation was in the offing. On the other hand, a lot of organizations are apparently still struggling with the dramatic shift to a cacophonous universe where literally everyone can speak and be heard.
Reinvesting resources in new approaches
But the question to be asked is: How to persuade time-strapped managers to make use of social media? To start with, small business owners can identify one aspect that’s not working smoothly in their marketing plan.
If they are investing considerable amount of time and energy in performing sales activities, which aren’t perhaps delivering an acceptable close rate, it makes sense to reinvesting those precious resources in new approaches.
Thought leadership works
A little more persuasion and thought leadership on a blog – official or personal – might have more people pick up the gauntlet. If you are able to convince them that many of these new and innovative approaches can overtake or mingle with the old ways over time, rest of the things will start falling in place. The road ahead then will become easier.
Quantifying the returns
The main problem seems to be that of quantifying the returns. Isn’t it hard to fathom if your social media campaigns are actually working? Many experts don’t feel that it’s tougher to measure the ‘visible’ or ‘tangible’ impact. In fact, just think of any other form of ubiquitous traditional advertising. There are not many universally accepted or reliable ways of checking exactly what you gained in many cases.
Of course, social-media campaigns can get tricky. Some of them may perhaps be less predictable and more difficult to wrap your head around. This is because they incorporate more than merely creating one ad and then running it over and over a fixed period of time. The medium is more dynamic, more interactive and more user-driven.
But social media’s impact is no less measurable.
‘Measuring the impact’
Take the example of Ford. The company knows the impressions (10 million-plus, for record) that it garnered from its well-orchestrated social media campaign for the Ford Fiesta launch. The number was as good, if not better. than it would have registered in a traditional campaign.
Thanks to the campaign, the company got to hear from close to 100,000 people that they wished to test-drive the model. And it had nearly 60 percent brand awareness for a car that was yet to hit the roads. This was almost equivalent to the awareness of a vehicle that has already been on the market for a couple of years, at least.
That’s very well a tangible outcome achieved at a much lower cost. This amplifies the power and reach of social media.