There was a great article in the August edition of Fast Company titled “Does Social Media Have A Return On Investment?” which I really enjoyed. The article speaks mostly to larger companies but, I found myself chuckling at some points in the article because of the large amounts of revenue spent on social media marketing and the idea that there is virtually no accountability for such expenditures.
Small business owners demand to be able to track and measure marketing programs whether those programs are online or traditional marketing. Many times an incentive is included to mark this as an “internet special” just to track where the leads come in. Other aspects such as brand awareness, product announcements and service offerings are more difficult to follow.
One thing that the article points out though is that “EMarketer estimates that 80% of companies will participate in social-media marketing this year, nearly double the number of just three years ago.” So the question is not whether your company should participate in social media but how much should your company participate?
One sentiment shared by many of our clients initially is fear of the unknown. One such fear is “what if someone says something bad about my company in a open forum?”. If your company deals with any volume at all, there is certainly at least one customer who is somehow less than satisfied even though you do your best to make sure that never happens. Reputation Management is a service that looks out for just such an event. By monitoring your company’s brand, not only can Buzz My Biz bring this to the attention of someone within your company who can respond appropriately, I’ve actually seen cases where such an event has turned out IN FAVOR of the company. Many times your loyal customers will run to your defense with rebuttal testimonials declaring how well your company has treated them. There’s nothing better than having someone else fight your battles for you, right?
Eventually, all companies – small business included – will be dragged into the social media party (some kicking and screaming). The most benefit will be those who enter early enough to make a lasting impression for years. This effort however, and this is especially true for small business owners, must be measureable.