Has Social Media Influenced the Bottom Line?

This week I will be sharing some thoughts on how social media has influenced marketing and advertising. Just as the advent of television brought on a new era in marketing and advertising,  social media is changing how consumers and businesses interact. Consumers want to be involved with the businesses that they interact with. The traditional model of interruptive marketing is slowly being replaced with a more interactive and relational type of inbound marketing.

In a recent Mashable post, Hank Wasiak makes the following comment “It’s time to move past debates about traditional media co-existing with social media. Madison Avenue should see social media as a wonderful, if not disruptive, gift. It should run hard to catch up with the consumer, let go of legacy business models and build something better.” In speaking about the new social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, linkedin, cell phones, and the internet) Avi Dan, from AdvertisingAge.com, states “Yet while consumers and retailers embrace these innovations, one group seems to be conspicuously lagging behind the rapid technological evolution of the marketplace: marketers.”

I bring this up to spotlight the concept that social media is shaking things up. It is requiring all of us to re-evaluate how we are doing business and whether change needs to be embraced. Consider the following facts that Avi Dan shares:

“It took the telephone 45 years to penetrate half the homes in America; radio, less than 20; color TV, 15; computers, 10; cellphones, eight; and the internet, a mere six years. The speed of change is accelerating. Five years ago Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Hulu and the iPhone didn’t exist. Today Facebook has 350 million members; Twitter boasts 30 million; and Hulu is the second biggest “channel” in America, having surpassed Time Warner Cable.”

Numbers and facts like this are hard to ignore. It seems quite evident that our entire business models need to be rebuilt from the ground up if we are to remain competitive and healthy. This does not mean that we throw the baby out with the bath water. It simply means taking the time to consider what might work best for you and your business. The tough part is that not every social platform needs to be engaged with every business. There is no “one size fits all” type of social media marketing strategy. It takes time, involvement, and interaction with your target market to determine what will work best for you. Consider Pepsi’s move to social marketing platforms over traditional Super Bowl commercials. That says it all.

Ford has been very successful with its social media marketing campaigns.

Jim Farley, the CMO of Ford, sums up the sentiment in most C-suites today: “We want to take that stupid little box we were forced into as advertisers, blow it up, and change the way we interact with the customer, and we want it to be around the experience.”

Best advise here is to start to engage in these social media platforms. Consider also what Hank Wasiak advises in his Mashable post:

Lighten Up. Stop lamenting the end of advertising as we know it. Celebrate the emergence of advertising as the consumer wants it and as it was meant to be — the art of one-on-one persuasion.
Listen Up. Grow bigger ears and become an expert at listening to what people feel. Value response and engagement skills as much as creative abilities.
Loosen Up. Get comfortable with giving up control to gain confidence and traction with clients and consumers. Client relationships ought to be rooted in trust, transparency and creative programs that are built on a strong positioning and responsibly deliver what is promised.
Ladder It Up. Embrace “collabetition.” Resist the urge to say “we can do it all” and openly collaborate with like-minded competitors to add value to an idea or program.
Live It Up. Everyone at an agency has to immerse themselves in the “social circles” in which consumers live and move everyday. Observation and understanding have been trumped by participation and engagement.

There is no way to give an all inclusive answer to all the questions concerned. People will need to get out there, make this a part of their days, do some searching, and start listening to what is going on. Start following great (not an exclusive list) of web sites like Mashable, WebProNews, Advertising Age and others. I will list some helpful inks on the bottom of the page for you to check out when you have time.

The bottom line here, social media has turned marketing and advertising efforts on their heads. Now we need to decide whether or not we want to move forward successfully or not?

Of course, as always, if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to comment below or contact us via email if we can be of any assistance with your marketing efforts.

HOW TO: Improve B2B Sales Productivity with Social Media
13 Essential Social Media Lessons for B2B Marketers from the Masters
10 Essential Social Media Tools for B2B Marketers
HOW TO: Build A Twitter Strategy for Your Business
Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Take Social Media for Granted

16 thoughts on “Has Social Media Influenced the Bottom Line?

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