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Spelt ‘Social Media’ pronounced ‘PR’..?

I am sure we’re all a little tired of hearing the lack of revenue metrics in social media means we simply opt-out of entering the game. If we’d taken this approach to everything new and that lacked instant gratification then just think what wouldn’t exist in our tool bag today? Disaster.

We ponder over social more than anything – perhaps because of the perceived uncontrollable nature of it or the chance we’ll upset someone and they’ll be horrible about us? Or perhaps because we are time poor but most commonly when I sit with clients it’s the bandwagon named ROI.

I remember well over 10 years ago having similar conversations, with B2B folk especially, about the Website – how it wasn’t relevant and wouldn’t work, they didn’t need one! A waste of money. The Internet was new and shiny for most of us back then, and promised so much – and hasn’t it? The success cases in 2000 were bleak at best but we took the plunge anyway – mainly because the competition was! Odd.

A few years later it was search, and it’s rather more simplistic sausage factory appearance of stuffing it from one end and seeing results out the other was an easier sell but I could find as many ROI case studies at that time as there are for social today – and PPC only had a one-dimensional purpose not the exciting multitude that social offers across lead generation and brand building to recruitment and customer services.

We all did however take the leap of faith with everything the digital world has thrown at us and so far I’d say it hasn’t let us down – so why should social? Unfair. Perhaps it is the expectations that traditional – yes, traditional – digital channels have left us with that have made it hard for social to be judged independently. After all not much can compete with a pretty standard 10x ROI from PPC in a like-for-like competition. Maybe it is like comparing the medal hauls of Michael Phelps and Chris Hoy?

There are far more marketing pounds spent on lower revenue generating activities than social but we do them – how long have we been doing PR for example? Is social not just it’s digital sister – or it’s natural evolution? Why do we not question PR so much – is it because it has history and we know how to buy it and what to expect – well, if that’s true then we have a duty of care to make as many mistakes in social now so that our grandchildren don’t question whether to do it or not!

So, if social is most likened to PR and we buy PR without the hookups then perhaps if we continue to spell it like ‘social’ but start pronouncing it as ‘PR’ then we’ll all feel much better about spending the pounds. Maybe we got it right years before when the term ‘Online PR’ was coined. Add in the effects social is having in the SEO world and I struggle to buy the revenue metrics as anything other than an excuse - they exist.

Once you have your new mindset then forget about the hook-ups you hear from everyone and Crack On.