July 24, 2009

Study: Social Media as marketing strategy pays off

One of the standard reviewer comments whenever I submitted a paper about Social Media Marketing is the lack of data backing the claim that Social Media Marketing positively helps the marketing strategy and therefore is necessary for strategists to include these media into their marketing toolbox. The reviewers are in principle right, there are no academic studies yet providing any ROI measurements of Social Media strategies or other similar data.
Yet there are some interesting very recent publications from the practitioners’ quarters; the co-author of the Groundswell Charlene Li released a new report she wrote in co-operation with Wetpaint titled "ENGAGEMENTdb“ making the point that Social Media pays off. The study looked at how the 100 most valuable brands — as identified by the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands classification — engaged in 11 different online social media applications. The interesting thing is that the study next to measuring the "breath" and "depth" of the engagement of these brands across the different online social media channels has also found a connection between high social media engagement and an average revenue increase of about 18% over the last year versus an average revenue decrease of 6% of the least socially engaged companies. Time for us academics to look to the issue in more depth and breath.