Here are five solid reasons why its time to drink the “social business” Kool-Aid and stop thinking about social as a separate department or discipline within an organization.
1. Isolating social forces inane metrics.
Trying to calculate the discrete return on investment of organic social activity is a fool’s errand, since there are way too many factors influencing any given purchase decision. This forces us to seek proxies like engagement rates, cost per engagement and social footprint growth, none of which can be linked directly back to sales. Even Coca-Cola with its 80+ million likes on Facebook can’t isolate the business value of its enviably massive social footprint. If it can’t, are you sure you want to bother?
2. Social is not an “or” anymore.
Very few businesses can afford to ignore their customers, so on one level, listening and responding to customers via social channels is simply the cost of doing business in 2014. Under this scenario, social is a critical part of the customer-service function of any business and as such, can and should have a profound (though nonetheless hard to isolate) impact on overall brand health metrics including likelihood to recommend.
3. It’s part of overall earned media efforts.
When organic social posts get shared, they can generate a tremendous amount of “free” exposure for a brand very much like traditional public relations. Social and PR are natural partners in the earned media world and can feed upon each other quite effectively. For example, companies like IBM that empower their employees to share content via their personal channels, can dramatically increase readership of previously earned “ink.”
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