Why Invest in Social Media

It wasn’t but a little over a year ago when I had the CEO of an online retailer tell me that they wouldn’t be “wasting” any time whatsoever on social media.  Of course, considering they made the majority of their money online, I didn’t let that go without some sort of back and forth. But, the day ended with him firmly entrenched in the notion that time spent on Facebook and Twitter was a frivolous use of resources.

The truth of the matter is, social media marketing is hardly a waste of time.

According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 85% of marketers report that with just 6 hours a week invested in social media marketing they have had a positive increase in brand awareness, and 74% say they have experienced a significant increase in web traffic.

For those who have been using social media for more than 3 years, 58% say it has definitely helped to improve sales. And, nearly half of those who spent 11 hours per week or more on social media efforts saw an overall reduction in other marketing expenses.

When it comes to acquiring a loyal fan base, social media truly plays a big role. Of those who have been using social media for at least 1 year, 65% found it useful for building a loyal fan base. Time invested made a significant difference with results. Sixty percent of those who spent at least 6 hours a week found benefit, compared to 46% of those spending 5 hours or less.

Even with those who spent as little as 6 hours per week, 61% reported a positive uptick in lead generation.

In the long run, each company’s social media strategy will be different—with unique results. But, the statistics show even a little effort will prove worthy in building a brand, finding leads or establishing a following. I’d say with the relative low-cost of investment, and almost guaranteed return, it is hardly a frivolous use of resources.

As Michael Stelzner, the author of the Social Media Industry Report and Founder of the Social Media Examiner has said, “The old mantra of ‘be everywhere’ will quickly be replaced with ‘be where it matters to our business.’…It will be essential to focus on where you’ll see results.”

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