I ask this question at every client and prospect meeting and at every conference I speak at. The answer from the audience never changes. It’s a two-part question:
“If I told you that many of your customers and prospects interacted and communicated in the social space would you invest in having a presence there?”
“What if I told you that you would never know you made a single direct dollar off of any of those customers and prospects in the social space, but you knew that they were still there, would you still invest?”
You would be quite surprised to find out that the amount of people that say yes to this question is virtually identical at every conference and meeting I have attended. Across the board executives and managers (and just people in general) that I have talked to say that they would still invest in social media if their customers and prospects were there, even if they knew that they would never make a direct profit off of them.
I find this question and the responses particularly fascinating because of the ROI of social media debate. We are shifting priorities from investing in making transactions happen to investing in making relationships happen.
Try asking this question to your colleagues, mangers, and friends and see what they say.