Are you surprised? I'm not. I've believed for some time now the only way of making money on the Internet is teaching people how to make money on the Internet, and that includes Social Media Marketing.
Image via Wikipedia
That doesn't mean you shouldn't be including social media in your marketing strategy. Far from it. It does mean you shouldn't expect to measure the return on the investment. Because there is none.
You might remember, back in the days before Adwords, the accepted wisdom about advertising was everybody knew 50% of money spent on it was wasted. Unfortunately nobody knew which 50%.
Advertising was about brand building, about recognition and about reputation. It was intended to support the product at point of sale. Not drive immediate revenue. Adwords kind of changed the conversation with cost per click and cost per conversion. But the reality is somewhat different. There's no shortage of businesses with bad experience of adwords, including this one. And these days companies are as likely to pay for Internet advertising as part of the brand building.
Internet advertising turns out to be no different to traditional media advertising, and so does social media marketing. That's the point made by Copyblogger.
But of course there is a point to social media activity. Businesses may not be able to measure returns in ways some would be consultants suggest. But they can understand the risks of not being where prospects and customers will look for them.
Social media is the ideal place for the new openness, honesty and availability we customers expect of our suppliers. Only businesses with something to cover up need avoid it. Every other business should embrace it, remembering social media isn't about selling its about listening.
These days social media is a fundamental dimension of customer experience.