Is Social Media Marketing Worth the Return on Investment?

We all know Social Media is popular and a growing trend. But is it worth the actual investment of time and resources? Let’s start with the front line… marketers. A recent survey by Michael Stelzner that was sponsored by Social Media Success Summit 2009 found 88% of marketers use social media as a launching pad to market their business. And that Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook are the medium of choice (and it that order of preference). There is a definite upward trend in the use of social media marketing and it appears that trend will continue.

The Big Three Marketing Questions:

Most marketers want answers to three main questions:

  1. What are the best social media tactics to get fastest results?
  2. How do you measure the effectiveness of a social media campaign?
  3. Where do I begin to maximize my efforts?

“How Much Time Should I Spend on Social Media Marketing?”

The average surveyed shows that 10 hours is a good rule of thumb. 64% of marketers use it 5 hours or more; 39% ten hours + and 10% about 20 hours. The survey also found that the more social marketers use the media, the more their hours increased. The conclusion one can draw from this is they are penetrating the marketplace, and not just addicted to chat.

From a demographic standpoint, 30-39 year olds spend the most time using the media, followed by 20-29 year olds, then 50-59 year olds. Also business owners tend to spend more time than employees.

“What Are the Benefits?”
Clearly, the main attraction of social media marketing is the attention it brings to your business, gaining hard earned exposure, particularly when competing for eyeballs. Other significant benefits include increasing traffic to your site and growing your email marketing lists. A bi-product of this added attention is you are able to make new business relationships and expand your customer base. The survey also stated that with the increased traffic comes more search engine exposure and higher rankings. 80% reported a rise by doing consistent social media marketing.

And of course the big caveat is social media brings in more qualified leads, resulting in more sales and income. That’s not all, employing social media strategies helps reduce overall marketing expenses, particularly for entrepreneurs.

“The Tip of the Spear”
If you need to prioritize your time, then start with Twitter (the overwhelming first choice of marketers), followed by blogging. Once you have firmly established a pattern of action, become more active on LinkedIn and Facebook. Many are also using social bookmarking sites.

Conclusion:
If you want to grow your business online, social media should definitely be part of the marketing mix. It is worth the time and commitment. Return on Investment (ROI) builds the more you use the media and the more you use it, the more you will learn how to maximize your time and efforts to increase your productivity.

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