Certain social media activities (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) can provide tremendous value to companies for very little cost, especially when compared to traditional advertising. If done right, social media can give your company a voice that people will pay attention to because they want hear what you have to say, and the costs can be significantly lower than some of the other options.
I’ve been a little concerned about my timing for starting a new consulting practice. I launched the consulting arm of Fast Wonder on June 23rd, and as everyone knows, the economy has recently taken a turn for the worse. As soon as the economy tanked, I had a couple of smaller clients pull out of deals; however, I’ve noticed an upswing over the past 2 weeks in people calling or emailing me to ask about my consulting services.
Yesterday, I came up with this hypothesis: Companies are pulling back and reassessing their strategies and spending in light of the economic situation. During this reassessment, some companies are deciding to increase their social media presence as a way to stretch already thin budgets. Even with consulting fees to help them get started, they are still spending a lot less than they would for even a single, small, traditional marketing campaign.
I put this question out to my Twitter followers on Friday:
- I’m getting more consulting inquiries lately & wondering if more companies are turning to social media in tough economy. What do you think?
Here are the responses:
- PDXsays: @geekygirldawn Affirmative
- wickedjava: @geekygirldawn completely think they are moving that direction because it’s more cost effective.
- donmball: @geekygirldawn Maybe you’re just good at what you do. There’s always that!
- MelWebster: @geekygirldawn Not sure, but as a small PR boutique, we have also seen an uptick lately in consulting opps.
- unclenate: @geekygirldawn I certainly see the shift happening, PR 2.0 is making an impact. Most seem stuck on the ROI and value measurement question.
- becnavich: @geekygirldawn I know i’ve seen a few blog posts on why companies SHOULD be turning to social media, but whether they will or not…?
- msamye: @geekygirldawn Great topic for this afternoon’s @beerandblog.
- jmelesky: @geekygirldawn i saw a move towards pay-per-performance in the ad space during the bust, so it wouldn’t surprise me if social is a new focus
- Justin Kistner (on Facebook): I’m in talks with a company now is reallocating a large amount of their marketing budget to social media because they’re looking for more cost-effectiveness.
I also know that inquiries are not the same as deals, so the jury is still out on this question. I’d be curious to hear if other consultants have noticed the same trends? For those of you working inside of companies, is your company making any changes to their social media strategy in light of the economy?