Can You Justify Social Media?

by Jay Deragon on 04/04/2009

The quest for justification of time and money spent on social media continues. Those close to the medium continue to present rationale arguments aimed at educating upper management and others who seem clueless to the medium and its benefits.

We‘ve written several earlier post relative to this subject matter. The first “Is Social Media ROI Important” and another titled What Do CEO’s Think of Social Media? Earlier today we posted “Does Best Buy Get It?”. Today I saw a post which further adds viable points to present when arguing for social media.

Jacob Morgan writes: How to Argue for Social Media: The key to addressing anyone on any topic is to understand both sides of the argument. If you’re in the social media space this means understanding why an executive or an employee may have a problem with social media (or with anything else for that matter) as well as understanding the arguments for social media use. The way you convince people or win a debate/argument is to understand and present both sides of the argument and then show how one of those sides falls apart. Here are some arguments that an executive at a company might have against using social media:

  • It’s too time consuming
  • People can bash us online
  • Can’t track direct sales or revenue
  • Don’t have the resources
  • Time could be better spent on things that are trackable
  • It builds personal brand but not company brand

Here are some arguments that a social media strategist (such as myself) might have for using social media (directly correspond to arguments above)

  1. Time spent building relationships is the most valuable thing your company/brand can do. Every relationship you build is another consumer or user that you can reach out to for feedback or information. Every relationship you build can turn into a brand evangelist which can then turn into another 5 relationships. Without user and consumer relationships your brand cannot succeed.
  2. It’s not a bad thing if people bash you online, it’s how you deal with the negative comments that matters. Negative comments are just as valuable as positive ones because you will understand customer pain points and how to fix them.
  3. In some ways you can track direct sales or revenue. For example, Dell made over $500,000 from listing discount and refurbished products through a twitter account that they created. You can also track and measure things such as links, comments, brand image, etc. that overall contribute to brand awareness and brand visibility. Think about how much more trackable that is then a large print advertisement or a bill board.
  4. If you don’t have the resources start small.
  5. Again social media is far more trackable than any other type of medium
  6. It builds both. Take a look at what Richard at Dell or Frank at Comcast are doing.

As more and more businesses adopt the use of social technologies the more businesses will follow. Until then the case for business use of social media will still have to be made until it becomes an integral part of the business landscape. It will take time however web time takes less time than one thinks. Some will get it while others won’t. Get it?

What say you?


jeanieglockler April 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Can you make the business case for social media?

L.P. NEENZ FALEAFINE April 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Can you justify social media? See also:

Marci Rosenblum April 4, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Can You Justify Social Media?

Rob Harvey April 4, 2009 at 8:39 am

Can You Justify Social Media?: As more and more businesses adopt the use of social technologies the more busines..

Mark Harai April 4, 2009 at 8:28 am

“Can You Justify Social Media?” – via @jderagon

JDeragon April 4, 2009 at 8:09 am

Can You Justify Social Media?: As more and more businesses adopt the use of social technologies the more busines..

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