The newsletter is online. If you’d like to print a 1-page version simply click here. I’ve also included the
full edition below.
* * * * *
Lots of people are asking the same question these day about social media. They wonder –
Is social media truly valuable to a business?
For example, if you invested $100,000 in Facebook related work, (through hiring someone to do the work and running FB advertising, etc.), could you reasonably expect to get $100,000 of income from that effort in a short amount of time? (If you’re uncomfortable with that number, reduce it to anything you’d like, for example $1,000.)
Most journalists and article writers are quick to say, “the monetary value of social media is unproven”. They claim that marketers haven’t been able to demonstrate the revenue impact of social media work.
After spending the last three years writing books about social media, researching the best companies, and interviewing the most innovating practitioners, I can tell you the answer is – it depends on the tactics you use – as to whether you’d recoup your investment of $100,000!
The analogy that comes to my mind is that of the adoption and use of the U.S. Mail service.
- Most individuals use the U.S. Mail and most individuals use social media.
- Most businesses use the U.S. Mail and most businesses use social media.
- It took years for a Direct Marketing industry to clearly demonstrate the monetary value of direct mail – and to clarify and articulate the principles that work effectively. Even still,
- Most businesses don’t use Direct Mail Marketing techniques. They use the U.S. Mail, but not Direct Mail Marketing and therefore don’t reap any significant benefit any more than a personal user would.
To refine this point further – let’s start with a basic premise. I believe social media is simply a digital adaptation of long-standing social activities. Such as chatting with friends, sharing pictures, gossiping, etc. In that way, the social behavior isn’t new, it’s just occurring on a new media.
For marketers, the best historical analogy (or at least a good one) for understanding the near-term future of Social Media is to reflect on the introduction and use of the U.S. Mail service.
A 1931 U.S. Mail Box
The 4 Futures Of Social Media
If we use the U.S. Mail as an analogy to understand what might happen with the ongoing use of Social Media, we can clearly see 4 distinct futures.
Future #1 – The Individuals’ Future
Individuals will continue to use social media with no loyalty to any specific platform. Facebook will not be the monopolistic incumbent. Users will migrate to platforms that best serve their social sharing needs, and reflect their values and interests.
Future #2 – The Direct Marketers’ Future
Direct marketers will learn to master social media in the same way they learned to master the use of the U.S. Mail service. This new breed of marketers will become expert in the tradecraft of social media marketing for conversion goals.
Future #3 – General Business Future
Just as most businesses use the U.S. Mail, most businesses will use social media platforms. However, their use will be very different than the Direct Response Marketer’s use. Most businesses won’t see any large-scale benefit from using social media. It will be helpful, but not a significant driver of revenue or growth.
Future #4 – The Regulators’ Future
Just as regulators passed laws to protect people from abuses of the U.S. Mail, and email, regulators will pass laws to protect users from abuses of social media.
Choosing Your Future
We are at the bleeding edge of understanding how to use social media to convince and convert prospects into customers – and customers into loyal long-term advocates. Just as the U.S. Mail was available for any small business marketer to use – so it is with social media. Those that use it for industrial strength purposes will see large scale benefits. The time, energy, patience, experimenting, trials, and frustrations involved in learning to adapt it to your business are the only barrier to use.
Do You Have A Question?
This newsletter is written for you! So feel free to submit a question today. Submit it here. We are honored to partner with you!
Jason & Cinnamon
Ps. I made a slideshare of this presentation – Let me know if you like it and/or share it socially 🙂