Social Media: Marketing Myths and Universal Truths
Myth: Social media requires a radical change from the current online advertising approach.
Truth: Many of the same principles, and even the same advertising units, that apply to standard online marketing campaigns can be reapplied and repurposed for social-media campaigns. Since users of these social-media sites are generating significant volumes of content that is highly specific to their needs and interests, ad-targeting systems on the sites that ensure relevancy between advertising and user-generated content can supercharge online inventory for an advertiser.
Myth: There is no proof that social-media sites deliver the same ROI offered by traditional Web sites.
Truth: Social media, especially in a B-to-B setting, not only is helping advertisers listen to conversations their customers are having online, but it also is helping them integrate into these conversations in ways that are welcomed and valued by users. For these advertisers, results of social-media campaigns go beyond mere engagement to include measurable ROI that matches and sometimes rivals their success with traditional Web site advertising. For example, Information Builders, one of ITtoolbox’s advertising partners, achieved 750 percent ROI and surpassed its lead-generation goals through a series of whitepapers that demonstrated its thought leadership and technical expertise with decision makers and influencers in the ITtoolbox community.
Myth: Social-media sites are good for consumers, but the options for the B-to-B marketer are minimal.
Truth: The basic principle behind a social-media community is to bring together peers to share experiences and knowledge. In the business environment, social-media sites can be used to help professionals make better decisions, from IT purchasing to health insurance benefits. In fact, research shows that purchasers are turning to user-generated content sites to help make their purchasing decisions.
For example, the 2007 ITtoolbox/PJA IT Social Media Index: Inaugural Survey Results shows that executive decision makers spend an average of 3.5 hours a week consuming or participating in social media — the highest usage profile of any IT audience. And that nearly two-thirds of IT professionals surveyed believe that social-media content and user-generated tools have made for a more informed purchasing decision; more than three-quarters believe they have made their lives more efficient.