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30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

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Social Media 2010: The Year I See Business ROI?

Posted on: 11 January '10

Happy New Year to everyone! Like most, I use the holidays to self reflect, personally and professionally, about what I want to change or improve. From a marketing standpoint, one of my goals for 2010 is to understand social media’s business benefits. It’s been about 6 months since members of my marketing team in India strongly suggested that I spend more time on social media channels for MindTree. I did so reluctantly, but with both eyes wide open. Some of my new responsibilities came easy-like this blog-because I like to write. LinkedIn also comes naturally because I enjoy interacting and “meeting” like-minded professionals. Other social media responsibilities however, like Twitter or YouTube, have not been as easy for me to embrace. Being from New Jersey, cynicism is engrained in my DNA and I often ask myself why anyone would care enough about what I’m thinking or doing to follow me on Twitter @MindTreeCMO. Although I “tweet” mostly about marketing and MindTree, my team has encouraged me to show a personal side, so I do sprinkle in thoughts about my children, girlfriend and my marathon training. I am happy to report that I have successfully stayed away from letting my followers know about the absurd or mundane-like what I had for lunch or what toothpaste I use.

But as we begin a new year, I am still waiting to see business benefit from my effort on these social media channels. Microsoft and Google, as reported on BusinessWeek online are paying $25 million to Twitter, allowing the social media company to actually turn a small profit in 2009. With 50 million Tweeters and 8 billion posts last year, there is a ton of data that these two technology stalwarts are betting will help them segment and analyze (potential) customer behavior better for new revenue opportunities.

Some studies I have read, including a 2008 study conducted in Britain, concluded that US and American executives spend more than 12 hours a week logging into social media sites, reading and contributing to the conversation. That is more than 25% of the average person’s work week. As managers, how do we ensure that social media doesn’t become too big of a distraction for our teams (not to mention us) that it negatively impacts our “day job?”

Is social media a waste of time for business executives? Time will tell and I remain patient, optimistic and committed to the cause. But it sure would alleviate my apprehension to be able to tie a big deal to a lead that came through one of these channels.

  • Vijay. M

    Hi Joe,

    Good to hear from you after a long time and a very happy new year 2010!. I totally agree that there are clear business benefits to social media adoption. Organizations have to identify it and nurture it in a positive, effective and efficient way.

    It will not be surprising to see that the new age companies in the future will be found based on social media expansion and its bolstering effect.

    But the usage and execution of social media initiatives for the common good of the company and its customers is the biggest challenge for any organization. MindTree has kicked off well with blogging, facebook and twitter initiatives. It should embrace the future social media technologies to become a formidable competitor in its market space.

    Regards,
    Vijay

  • Great blog Jo and you drove me right to it through your use of another social media tool – LinkedIn. And I’m now following you on Twitter since you included your Twitter handle in your blog. That’s a great testimonial to the power of social media right there.

    As you point out, the key is always the ROI. As with any campaign, you have to start with defining your goal. Is it to drive traffic to the website? Is it to increase brand awareness? Many people use social media simple to “listen” or “gauge the pulse” of their audiences.

    Social media analytic tools are becoming more popular. Now that we’ve all played with it, I think 2010 is the year everyone wants to see how it’s paying off.

  • Hi Joe,
    I stick to LinkedIn (That is how I got in touch with you) and blogging. I think the niche groups in LinkedIn are of a big help – there are several such groups relating to my field of taxation. However, these groups are not of much help in getting business but in gaining knowledge and yes, brand mileage. Through such networks I could contribute to tax journals in other countries, that I may not otherwise have heard of.
    I don’t twitter. I did set up a twitter account just to participate in a contest and nominate someone on LinkedIn, but have conveniently forgotten the email id through which I registered and the password. My Twitter account has died a natural death.
    Putting a human touch to blogs, and perhaps twitter is vital. It leads to ‘stickability’. Thus, I now know that Joe is not just a creat CMO but also a great marathon runner! Peronal touches, stick to memory more strongly than anything else.
    I think, indirectly, YouTube has been of great help to MindTree. Most of Subroto’s views at various seminars are captured by someone or the other (not necessarily by a MindTree mind) and are made available via You Tube. This helps spread the vision of MindTree.
    All the best in 2010 and I shall stay tuned to your blog and to LinkedIn.
    Best,
    Lubna

  • Thanks Lubna. Happy New Year to you and continued best wishes in your new role. I particularly agree with your views on the personal aspect of blogs, tweets, etc. That information tends to have more “recall,” if not more relevance, than the business side of social media.

  • Vijay…season’s greetings. Thanks for checking in. I had the best of intention to write over my holiday, but never found the time. I hope to get back on a regular schedule again. Are there any topics you’d like to recommend I blog (and we talk) about?

  • Vijay. M

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for your kind reply. I think the following topics can be discussed if you find relevance:
    – Marketing automation
    – Analytics (web and data)
    – Digital marketing mistakes to be avoided
    – Mobile Marketing
    – Effective marketing research
    – Life-cycle marketing
    – Online Media
    – Strategic planning for Marketing

    So thats a small list I have for you. 🙂

    Regards, Vijay

  • Akshay

    And if I may suggest one topic related to this article.quantifying ROI from social media. Nice article Joseph.