Socialnomics 101

“Socialnomics” is a foreign term to most businesses. Many companies are still set in outdated mind frames. Too afraid of change, and too afraid of what they don’t understand. Yet rather than educate themselves to stay ahead of their competition, they stubbornly refuse to budge. The result? Failure. If not today, then probably tomorrow.

At its core, Socialnomics is social media’s undeniable ability to create and grow returns for individuals and businesses on an exponential scale. It’s now gotten to the point where the argument that social media is merely “a fad” becomes ludicrous, that social media is “just for socialising” becomes blatantly incorrect, and that social media “can’t generate profit” is naïve.

Let’s dispel two of the most popular misguided beliefs about social media.

Myth #1: Social media doesn’t provide value for a business

Let’s start with the big guns. 43% of all online consumers are social media fans or followers. You’re talking about billions of people. The newly-coined term “World of Mouth” has never rung more true. Anything that somebody says now goes global in the time that it takes them to click a button.

So imagine, as a business, what kind of impact and reach you could have via social media? Facebook now tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S. Meanwhile, in the U.K., 50% of all mobile internet traffic is for Facebook. What does that mean for negative customer experiences? All it takes is one bad incident and suddenly half the world is sharing their frustrations online.

77% of consumers said that they interact with brands on Facebook by reading their posts and updates. 17% of consumers share their own experiences and stories in relation to the brand. And most importantly, 56% of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook. So why are 95% of Facebook posts not answered by brands? Think about the opportunity that exists to create, nurture and strengthen the bond between consumer and brand. You could turn your average consumer into a loyal, life-long customer and brand advocate.

Now more than ever, it’s important open the lines of communication with consumers and really listen to what they want, rather than telling them. They’re the reason that businesses exist, and social media provides the tool to spread a global message and establish a passionate following.

Myth #2: Social media doesn’t compare to traditional advertising

Social media is growing faster than any other interactive marketing category, with a 34% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), which is expected to top $3.1 billion by 2014. On top of that, social media is actually trackable. I’m not entirely sure that much of the advertising and marketing world understands just how vital that is.

If you create a TV campaign that’s expected to be seen by 50 million people, how do you know that they’ll watch it? What if they have TiVo or DVR and skip it? What if they go to get a snack? What if they suddenly change the channel?

If you create a billboard that’s expected to be seen by 5 million people, how do you know that people like it? How do you know that people are looking at it rather than just driving by and looking in the other direction?

If you create a social media campaign, you know exactly how many people it sees. You get immediate feedback. You can update and improve the campaign daily to make sure it remains relevant. It’s just as creative, and definitely more interactive. And it’s much, much cheaper than any other medium.

Have you seen Volkswagen’s Star Wars commercial? If not, you should. Here it is for you:

This ad was run during the Superbowl in America at the bargain price of $3 million per 30-second slot – for which they paid several. It reached around 75 million viewers. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? However, Volkswagen also uploaded the video to YouTube and it has now reached over 50 million views. Take into account that it then made it onto almost every news channel, talk show, advertising and marketing magazine, as well as being re-posted on a huge number of blogs, Facebook and Twitter. The audience it reached was well over 50 million. For free.

So for those of you who want to know what your ROI from social media is? It’s that your business will still exist in 5 years. Because put simply, without social media it probably won’t.

Socialnomics. Believe it.

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We’ve been in the digital marketing field for over 18 years and worked with hundreds of Australian (and international) businesses to grow their web presence. Specialising in SEO, search ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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