People gripe about social media sometimes. They snark and complain.
Well, here’s a list of reasons why we at GillespieHall love it
1. Social media does not exist in a vacuum.
GillespieHall preaches the use of integrated media. It would be naïve to think that the efforts of a social media campaign or traditional media campaign operate successfully without each other in this era. We do not ignore outside factors in our social media campaigns. GH celebrates the use of external factors instead of pretending they do not exist.
2. “Social media” may not be new, but thanks to growing public access to the Internet it is changing the way people interact and it is changing marketing.
Social media is far from a new concept. However, the accessibility and its effect on the market are undeniable. 10 years ago having a robust social media campaign was just unheard of. Now, the quality of a brand’s social media presence can make or break its success.
3. Social media is a really important problem-solving, action-starting tool to have in your belt. Obviously, you have to know how to use it.
Social media can change the way your consumers feel about your product or service. Social media is one of the best ways available to connect with potential consumers and alter their opinions about your brand. It can also play a vital role in crisis communications if executed properly.
4. Social media is not for everybody.
But you can’t use that as an excuse to not even consider it. Social media in the right hands is powerful. You would be doing yourself a disservice not to carefully consider using social media as a marketing tool—and you should have solid, defensible reasons for your choice.
5. Ahem, yes, social media consultants do tend to get the bad rap of a snake oil salesman.
But how do you tell the snake oil salesmen from the true experts? Look at their record. Do they have proven and measurable success with multiple campaigns? Have they been recognized nationally for their strategies? Again, you could be missing a really good thing to write off social media consultants without a thought.
6. Measuring social media may be overwhelming, but if you know what you are hoping to achieve by using social media, you can pretty easily find numbers and measurements that actually mean something.
Figuring out a return on investment can be a tricky thing to calculate if you are inexperienced. However, a professional can provide various formulas to calculate the ROI based on the client’s individual needs. There are different levels of ROI that correlate with the goal of a campaign.
7. Social media is not cheap, nor easy; but you can get an extraordinary bang for your buck if you do it right!
A lot of people think that social media is a cheaper way to conduct a campaign and achieve marketing goals. The true advantage, though, is the quality of results you can get with a well-run social media campaign. A billboard cannot interact on a personal level with a consumer. Social media responds in real time to conversation about your brand. If you were to spend on a social media campaign what you spend on traditional media, the return is so much greater.
8. Speculation is exciting.
This is where all the progress, development, and vitality come from. No one can say for sure where the future of social media is going. However, without speculation there is no innovation. Good social media professionals keep one eye on the current landscape and one eye on the horizon, staying ahead of the curve and ready at any time to jump on the next greatest thing.
Ashley Hoff is a a social media specialist at integrated marketing and public relations firm GillespieHall. A version of this story originally appeared on the agency's blog.