Before too long, social media will be viewed as just another channel in the marketing promotions mix.  

Actually, I’ve been saying that for a long time, but it keeps coming up in conversation.  

I was having lunch with a longtime friend and colleague of mine (across three companies) discussing her new startup, and I was outlining her marketing program. She said, “What about social media?” To which my response was, “What about it?” 

Don’t get me wrong – social media has value as a promotions channel. But I think many of us are coming around to the idea that it’s another channel, and unless you have relatively high levels of funding and resources, it’s not the channel with the highest ROI. In fact, it’s arguable that the ROI of social media is nearly impossible to measure or determine, and it certainly uses resources – time, effort, money, technology. So as a marketer, you’re faced with the classic management problem of allocating scarce resources across a large number of options.  

And by the way, when I say “promotions channel,” I’m not talking about push marketing. What I’m talking about is the 3rd “P” of marketing – promotion. Even if you’re doing pull marketing via social media, you’re still doing promotion – it’s just a different methodology.  

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