1 – By generating revenue
2 – By lowering existing business costs
For whatever reason, most of the ‘What is the ROI of Social Media?’ discussion focuses on the first area. But the 2nd area is just as important, if not moreso when it comes to social media initiatives. I’ve talked before about how companies can and ARE reducing their costs by utilizing social media.
In late 2009, The Bainbridge Companies hired NCI to provide social media services for 21 of its apartment communities. Now several months into the program, Bainbridge was already seeing nice boosts in organic traffic to their property website (67% increase in total), and also was seeing the benefits from an SEO perspective. So much so that Bainbridge decided to completely eliminate its pay-per-click advertising by the end of 2010.
This will let Bainbridge realize a cost savings of over $100,000. In addition, Bainbridge reports a higher conversion rate from the non-paid, organic traffic that’s being generated by the properties’ social media efforts.
BTW one aspect that I thought was interesting was that several times during the last year, certain Bainbridge units have had to deal with severe weather issues from time to time. Since the units had a set of social media channels in place, they could communicate severe weather information to residents, who were very appreciative of these efforts. This is a classic example of how the potential of social media as an instant connection tool can improve customer satisfaction.
The arm of NCI that handled these social media initiatives for Bainbridge was Community Sherpa, and you can learn more about them here.
Just curious, has your business noticed a cost savings from using social media? If so, what areas were affected?