There’s an article in Fast Company on the lack of accountability in social media, and how the $2.1 billion spent on social media advertising in 2010 may or may not have had any real impact on anyone’s bottom line - save, of course, for the social media “experts” raking in that $2.1 billion. It’s a great question.
Social media advocates talk about audience engagement and generating buzz. But, as the article quotes an Audi executive, “Can I say that a [Facebook] fan is more likely to buy an Audi? No.” Although nearly everyone is on board the social media train, the industry hasn’t quite figured out how much a ticket is really worth.
The first comment on the article is from a man named Steven Herron, and I want to share what he said, because it illustrates a broader point.
Social media is a great listening tool. I’m thinking about what other arenas besides hospitality could improve operations—forget “buzz” or “engagement” for now—through monitoring social media channels. At first blush, the answer is a lot.
Social media is useful for much more than only marketing, advertising and PR. The immediate and direct customer feedback—call it part of customer service—might actually prove to be the most valuable.
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