Not all marketers are convinced of social media marketing’s permanence, viewing it as an unstable experiment. Forty-nine percent of marketers feel this way, according to a study by Pivot. “Of those people, 37% thought social media marketing would be mainstream by 2013, but 34.8% said they had no idea when they’d break on through,” says Cynthia Boris of Marketing Pilgrim.
The top concerns about social media were financial (return on investment, mainly) and the “lack of clear outcomes.” Executive skepticism towards it accounted for 39% of the respondents’ issues.
Although companies may be hesitant to give their all to social media marketing when ROI isn’t obvious, there are numerous tools and strategies to measure it. “Content creates brand awareness,” writes Contently’s Shane Snow. “It creates advocates, subscribers, and purchasers and increases the volume of inbound leads for brands-turned-media-companies.” Getting the leads alone and strengthening bonds with customers are investments in and of themselves.
Still not convinced about social media’s effectiveness? Take a look at this infographic by MDG Advertising, which spells out the ROI.
With sites like Google+ and Pinterest gaining early popularity among brands, and Facebook’s recent Timeline upgrade, which caters to company pages, it’s obvious that social media is here to stay.
Image courtesy of Flickr, ToniFish