RealTime IT News

Social Media Marketing Makes More Money

Does social media marketing boost the bottom line? The answer is a resounding "yes," according to a recent study that cites a correlation between brands with social media campaigns and higher earnings.

Companies that had the highest levels of social media activity -- and engagement -- increased revenues by as much as 18 percent on average over the past year, while the least active realized a six percent dip in sales, according to research from social media platform Wetpaint and digital consulting firm Altimeter Group.

The report comes at a time when recession-strapped brands are increasingly looking to social media marketing as a more affordable alternative to traditional forms of both online and offline advertising.

Interactive marketing, however, is expected to reach $55 billion and represent 21 percent of all marketing dollars spent in 2014 as advertisers shift money away from traditional media to search marketing, display advertising, e-mail marketing, social media and mobile promotions, according to a recent Forrester study.

The study, titled "Engagementdb," reviewed more than 10 social media channels, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums for each of the 100 most valuable brands as identified by the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking.

The study found that social media efforts are self-perpetuating. "There is an exponential growth in the depth of engagement as the brand extends itself into more and more channels," according to the report.

Companies that scored well in the study generally have dedicated teams, however small, active in the social media channels they utilize. The study found that the most successful teams evangelize social media across the entire organization to pull in a broad range of collaboration and support.

Another characteristic for success -- content tone. These companies have a conversational style, in contrast to the "approach of traditional communications and early corporate blog experimentation, which emphasizes messaging and talking points," the study says.

Next page: The Starbucks example