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Time for a Little Social Media Sobriety

Posted on: March 16th, 2010 by: Tom Groff

Social media is fascinating. It’s an exciting, fast-evolving realm.

What it’s not is a cure-all for all your company’s sales and marketing challenges.

This should be obvious. But with all the hype out there surrounding Foursquare, Google Buzz or whatever the latest, hippest platform is, I guess it’s understandable that expectations become a little inflated.

That’s why it’s good to see some sobriety injected into the social media discussion, like this Wall Street Journal piece interviewing skeptical entrepreneurs.

The article cites a study of 500 owners of small businesses, only 22 percent of whom reported making a profit from their social media initiatives last year.

That stat handily exposes one big drawback of social media spending: that it’s still sometimes difficult to tie what you’re doing directly to definitive ROI.

But expecting social media engagement to suddenly, dramatically boost profits is asking too much. Better to think of social media as a great new opportunity to connect with target audiences.

Curb the irrational exuberance a bit, and you may find that a social media program is a cost-effective way to understand your customers and serve them better than ever.

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