Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Social Media takes "too much time" and that's why it's "not" worth it!

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Time and again, when you review the blogs and discussion forums, the question of ROI (return on investment) comes up when association executives think about integrating social media into their communications and public relations initiatives. For many association and not-for-profit organization executives and communications professionals, this medium is completely new territory.  Briefly, they're not completely sure what to make of it.

Here's the thing...social media adds one more important component to a successful communications portfolio of strategies a non-profit can call upon.    In fact, I often call it the "great equalizer" because to be effective in this medium, you don't necessarily need a huge budget as you would in a traditional advertizing campaign.  As with any effort, you get out of something that which you put into it.  Beth Kanter's blog put it correctly when she estimated the time commitments required and while at first the prospect of devoting staff time to this initiative may seem daunting, consider the fact that not-for-profit financial resources are not infinite either.

You do however need consistent passion for your cause.  Consider the following at least from the corporate sphere (from Forrester.com) I believe relays back to the not-for-profit sector:
Many marketers can draw a straight line between investments in social media marketing and financial results, but many more cannot.  This doesn’t mean social media marketing is ineffective; it just means that marketers have to recognize benefits beyond dollars and cents.  Facebook fans, retweets, site visits, video views, positive ratings and vibrant communities are not financial assets -- they aren’t reflected on the balance sheet and can’t be counted on an income statement -- but that doesn’t mean they are valueless.  Instead, these are leading indicators that the brand is doing something to create value that can lead to financial results in the future.
Is this not something critical to the reason for why the sector exists, namely making certain we are advancing our cause's recognition factor?  However, if you are still not convinced consider the following:  Those organizations who have a blog, average 55% more web traffic than those who don't.   As for the time commitments, believe me...with effective training and organization, there are plenty of tools available to streamlined your efforts.

I could go on but I love to hear more from you.  Leave your comments!
Mark A. Buzan, APR
Principal &; Chief Magnifying Officer
Action Strategies
#3, 270 rue Champlain
Gatineau, Quebec J8X 3S1
819.770.2899 phone

LinkedIn Group for Public Relations: http://tinyurl.com/nonprofitideas
LinkedIn Group for Government Relations: http://tinyurl.com/nonprofitlobbying

Please take a look at my just released book: Online PR and Social Media for Associations and Not-for-Profits -http://www.onlineprsocialmedia.com/associations


JobJoy said...

Thanks, Mark, you make a strong case for using SM to generate traffic and leads. Would love to hear more about conversion strategies, actions, and results.

Mark Buzan said...

Hi George...I think!

Thanks for your comment. Demonstrate the link between all the issues you mentioned really comes from having effective measuring strategies in place. There are many tools that can be embedded into your social media efforts but above all, I recommend tracking your social media efforts back to setting up a Google Analytics account.

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