Two years ago, I listened to a presentation on using Linked-In to do Social Networking. I was excited about the potential. So I created a Linked-In profile and invited the people in my AOL address book to connect with me. Since then, I get a few invitations each month to connect with someone else, and I get Linked-In messages telling me who my connections are linking up with and of any revisions they have made to their profile. Nice, but not very earthshaking.
A few months ago, my daughter, who is the product development and marketing Director of a multinational corporation, told me that she was getting great results from social networking. I asked her to explain. She said she has three people working full time putting out messages that make and develop connections with people that have in interest in the products that her firm sells. She also subscribes to services that give her and her staff data and detailed analysis on where and how quickly her staff is building their network of connections and influence. This data convinced her that it is far more cost-effective to invest in a professionally managed social media staff to deliver messages to your target audience than it is to spend money on traditional media to reach your target market.
What’s the bottom line? Social media is a labor intensive advertising media. If you do not make a significant investment in staff effort and use a professional data-based, results-oriented management approach, you may not get a significant business result.