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In promoting our businesses, it's quite often difficult to measure the effectiveness of what we do. We all want to be results focused. Have you been able to reduce you purchased marketing expenses using Social Media? Most effective contributors?

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My favorite sites? Facebook, and linkedin these two site brought the most radio interviews, then myspace in last place. I use these sites because it helps and I couldn't afford to do much advertising this year
Not yet, but I'm hoping we will get there. That's the point after all. I've actually paid for Facebook ads with less sucess than Google ads. I was surprised since the FB ads allows you to target specific demographics and interests. At the same time, I have had some sucesss with our FB page and intereations there, but we just need to step it up.

So when I look at cost, I consder my own time. Blogging has been the most effective social media tool for us (www.kokobuzz.com), but can be very time consuming. Facebook is the next most effective and a bit less time consuming (at least once you get a critical mass of fans). I don't feel that Twitter is terribly effective, but it's the least time consuming for us. The issue with Twitter is that there is such a deluge of tweets for most people, that unless they are "watching" when your tweet goes out, it's bound to get caught in the noise.

Walter Plante
Chief Tasting Officer
www.newleafchocolates.com
Simply put, yes.... The reduction we see in cost is relative to time spent talking with people. A lot of what we do is based on name recognition, which saves us in many cases the "introduction" piece and adds credibility in our customers eyes. We certainly have had some business come direct from the social networking as well.

We are not direct mailing much anymore that is for sure.
Hope this helps.

Matt
I have not seen sufficient business from social media to make any valuation

Tom

www.ConceptPromotions.com
Yes. We have reduced costs by 30% while doubling the number of apps received and sinificantly reducing days-to-hire.
My marketing cost is still the same along using the social media sites. I didn't recieve any prospect clients however, it assist my company on the SEO.
Interesting comment and observation about the trade off being time. You really do have to establish the necessary discipline to maintain your choices in the social media area. Discipline!
i only use social media to marketing it is free and i reach a wide mass of people .
My efforts in this direction are just getting started. But I see a LOT of time costs built in, even when people say it does not take much time to blog, etc. I think it does if you have something to say and want to say it well.

Our market is not general, in that we target people who are consultants or trainers and who are looking to do things like team building and organizational improvement. We sell games and bundles of cartoons that are used for facilitating communications and implementing change. My concern focuses on the narrowness of this marketplace when it comes to people looking for information or tools.

The main site has been www.performancemanagementcompany.com and we have been spending a good bit for pay-per-click advertising, but also not seeing the conversions that we would like. So, maybe this will work for us.

And I am finding this viralnetworkers site to be most interesting. Good contributions that are appreciated. Have fun out there.

Scott Simmerman
Good points Scott. Would you trade off a reduction in marketing and advertising dollars for a higher commitment of your personal time? As you say "if you have something to say you want to say it well". This means that you don't just development social media sites and expect them to survive and be sufficient. I believe the new craze with social media can only be seen as another channel.

Social Media is part of your overall advertising plan but there is a cost. That cost is your personal time. Of course you can outsource it and shift those saved advertising and marketing dollars to other services. Integrate social media but be smart with it by keeping an eye of overall cost to get it right and maintain it. And when you're ready, take a vacation.

www.nextlevelvacations.com
I guess the key for me is Conversions. Over the years, I have written hundreds of articles on themes of organizational change and collaboration and team building. And my games are well-known and extremely well rated by users as well as participants. A strategy was to also sell them cheap (well not that cheap!) and to get a lot of international users exposing the game as much as they can, so that the people involved remember the game and maybe mention something at their new company. So, we've gotten many thousands of exposures with that viral approach.

Some of those turn into users, or at least referrals.

But the people that click onto the page from the per-click leads don't seem to convert too well into sales. Guess that is always the issue... I am hoping to reframe and repurpose and re-action the social media so that we can get more conversations going on as to how these things link into organizational issues and critical development needs. From the feedback I get, people DO get that benefit (but only after they make a purchase!).

One more thing to learn. One wuddathunk that I would be all done learning now, after so many years.

Oh, what is that "vacation" thing you mentioned? I am a two person company. And I have heard rumors of those things over the past couple of years. (smile)
Has Social Media reduced our marketing cost - YES TREMENDOUSLY! We've been able to make a lot of connections through Ning, Facebook as well as Twitter. We're slowly, but surely working our way on LinkedIn.

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