Social Media has the power to change the world. Or at the very least, the small business owner’s world. I was at a Social Media event recently and heard this question: “How soon can I expect to see ROI for a social media campaign?”
My initial reaction was, “What investment? Social Media is FREE.” But as I thought more about it, I wondered if the real underlying questions was this:
“Is Social Media really worth the investment of my time?”
Consider these Facebook statistics:
- More than 300 million active users
- 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older
Now compare Facebook stats to American Idol’s 2009 Statistics:
- The American Idol finale averaged 28.8 million and a 10.0 rating among adults 18-49
- The 2009 American Idol finale draw was 40 million people for the last 7 minutes
It costs Huddle Productions $1 per day to advertise our FSN show, Gameday Rivals on Facebook. It costs us nothing but time to post an article or respond to a question on LinkedIn. The cost for a thirty second ad on American Idol? $900,000+ in 2008.
Is $900,000 worth the investment? Absolutely. There are reasons why the corporate conglomerates have hundred million dollar ad budgets. It is an undisputable fact that advertising works. So how can small business compete with the big dogs? In the past, they couldn’t. With Social Media they can.
Big companies are scrambling to figure out how to leverage Facebook and YouTube to reach audiences who are turning more and more to on-demand content for entertainment. Or worse: they are denying that social networking is a threat to their business model.
Would it surprise you to know that some corporate giants dismiss Facebook because they think it is just a fad? They could be right. Then again, that’s what they used to say about Rock & Roll… and if by fad they meant that forty years later the Beatles would be producing the hottest toy for Christmas….count me in.
Social Media levels the playing the field. Why is this good news for small business? Because kicking off a Social Media campaign is easy, cheap and truth be told, fun.
Almost too much fun. Tweeting and blogging hardly seems like work – but I can attest that at Huddle Productions, our Social Media strategy is bearing fruit. What’s it worth to you to have an opportunity to reach 150 million customers EVERY DAY? What about having the ability to slice and dice that demographic until you know for sure that you are only promoting your product to customers who are mostly likely to buy what you’re selling?
My humble opinion is this: The big dogs are over thinking it and making Social Media way too complicated.
Entrepreneurs have the definite advantage over big business in this arena. They are used to rolling up their sleeves, jumping in & taking a chance.
The true value proposition of Social Media is this: Small Business owners now have a way to get the attention of consumers who were previously distracted (and frankly dazzled) by dancing Polar Bears and talking Gnomes.
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