December 13, 2011

Advertising vs. Social Media Return-On-Investment

advertising vs. social mediaAs I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been working on a contracting project that looked at the return-on-investment a company had from their paid advertising and their social media.  For this analysis, nearly 1000 customers were asked what prompted them to come into the store and make a purchase.

Interestingly enough, given that the company has a fairly large advertising budget and only one staff person dedicated to social media, I was surprised to find out that in this instance social media and advertising were just about tied.  The anaylsis showed that 24% of people indicated that advertising they had seen or heard was the driving reason for them coming into the store whereas 26% of customers reported that it was the company’s social media channels that attracted their interest. 

So what’s the moral of the story?  Not surprisingly, social media is an incredibly powerful tool and, given it’s low price tag, done well can be critical to a small business’ success.  However, at least in this company’s instance, this also showed that traditional paid advertising is not quite as dead as everyone would like you to believe and if you have any money in your budget to do advertising it can be very valuable if you work with the right radio stations/print publications/online channels/etc.