OK, I admit, maybe the “social media” hype over the last couple of years has been a little overblown. It’s true, social media will not cure world hunger, fix the economy or create leads for your organization overnight. Many marketers today are desperately trying to figure out how Facebook, Twitter and YouTube help sell their products and services. Most know they need to incorporate social media as part of their marketing mix, they just don’t know how much and what their expectations should be when they do invest time and resources.
Take car makers and their dealers for instance: Just 3 percent of 4,005 new and used car buyers polled last summer said social media influenced their purchase decision, according to a survey by market researcher R.L. Polk & Co. and AutoTrader.com, a car shopping Web site. Some could read into this statistic and get alarmed that time and effort isn’t worth it. Or could it be that as marketers, we haven’t really figured it all out yet, how to integrate and measure the true impact of engaging with our customers and prospects using social media channels? Perhaps we haven’t been able to harness the power of our best customers using social media.Read More