Twitter, and the realm of social media as a whole is as yet untapped, but very much theorized upon. A quick search will reveal thousands upon thousands of online articles about how to snare the power of social media to make money, expand your network, get a job, influence people and a whole host of other things that businesses strive to achieve. The general consensus is that while social media has proven benefits, they are difficult to measure accurately and therefore monetize. It is for this reason that many businesses are tentative about investing in social media.
The great thing about social media marketing that the basic tools, that is the sites themselves, are free. Anyone can try their hand. The problem is, social media is not about trying your hand, it is about a long term sustained effort to build online relationships using extensive research and market knowledge. This means that business must invest in resources in the form of skilled manpower if they are to make a concerted effort at getting social media ‘right’.
There are well known case studies available from brands that have excelled in social media, Dell is commonly talked about for it’s feverish dedication to customer service, as a company it is well known for answering every tweet query quickly and comprehensively. Social media is also heavily reliant on content, if you want audiences to engage with you, you need to have something to offer them in return, this is where content comes in, and a team of in-tune creative individuals is crucial for producing this content.
Some say that social media is the new PR, and while traditional agencies won’t be throwing away their little black book of journalists any time soon in favor of prioritizing Facebook in their strategy, this mantra does hold some credibility. Social is valuable in that it facilitates outreach to numerous niche audiences, where PR simply ‘mass market’ or ‘broadcasts’ to numerous anonymous publics.
There is certainly money to be made in social, this has been proven, but for it to work, businesses either need to throw generous resources at the medium, in terms of time and money, or outsource their social activities to a specialized agency. One thing is for certain, the importance social will only continue to grow as its uptake increases. Now is the time to invest.