We may not realize it yet, but these are the salad days of social media marketing. The cost of acquiring and engaging with fans is increasing as social media practitioner salaries increase alongside the going rate for social advertisements.
Research from consulting firm, Bain & Company revealed that organizations that have adopted social media early on (Dell, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, JetBlue and American Express) have captured real economic business value from their budget investments.
Bain found that that customers who engage with companies via social media channels spend 20% to 40% more money with those companies than other customers. They also demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to the companies, granting them an average 33 points higher Net Promoter® score (NPS®), a common measure of customer loyalty.
All is not lost if your company hasn’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet, but the research above makes a case for getting started sooner rather than later. I’ve noticed the effects of social media marketing are cumulative, and the cumulation of months of work far outweigh the effort it takes to start a community from scratch.