I recently read an article describing how to measure the value of social media campaigns, and while I totally buy into social media as a true social function and part-time marketing tool, I have to disagree with putting a value on it.
To me, social media is creating relationships and developing friendships with people who you would otherwise never cross paths with. And sometimes those friendships develop to a point where someone hires your contracting company based on their experience with you or your brand through the development of that relationship. In that respect, twitter and facebook and all the other social networking sites out there get my complete and total buy in.
But when marketing equals tweets is when I have to cry foul. Maybe it’s my small business upbringing were I never had a marketing or advertising budget that wasn’t tied directly to its own profit or lose scrutiny. In other words, if I spent $1, I needed to bring home $2, and if I spent $1 million, I better bring home $2 million.
Why allocate resources strictly to branding when you can do both with the same money?
See, marketing isn’t selling, marketing is branding. That’s why marketers don’t make good salespeople. While salespeople are revenue creators within your organization, marketers are capital-intensive spenders of company resources. If your advertising (not marketing) isn’t at least paying for itself, especially in today’s environment, you and your firm are sheep heading to the slaughter.
So don’t get sucked into thinking you are a failure as a contractor and business owner because you are not blogging or twittering or updating facebook every 3 minutes. Most people in your position are not. Stick to the basics, advertise online properly, advertise offline properly, and use social media for just that…socializing and building brand and you will be fine!