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CROWDSOURCING – IT MIGHT BE THE SECRET TO SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS

Small business owners are notorious for doing it all. Whether it’s because of a lack of qualified staff, or a lack of money to pay them, these folks often find themselves Jacks (and Jills) of all trades. And while that arrangement might work for some, there’s bound to be times when the job is just too much for even the savviest of owners.

The power of many
And that’s where crowdsourcing comes in. Simply put, crowdsourcing takes the collective skills and abilities of a variety of professional talents and combines these with the power and reach of the Internet. The result is an online marketplace that allows people to sell their specialized services to the buyers that need them – often for less than “market rates”.

An array of opportunities
Here’s how it works. Jobs are posted by employers every day: freelance professionals are free to bid on these jobs for a specified period of time. Jobs can range from designing a logo, to building a website, or planning a marketing event – the range of job opportunities is almost endless.

Competition is king
Some of the work is available as a kind of contest – would-be workers submit their ideas for a shot at winning the specified “reward” that comes with the job. In this case, only the winner gets paid – the others are wiser for the experience. Another kind of job is a contract job: these are posted with the understanding that workers propose ideas and a budget to see the work to completion. Employers review the proposals and the related costs and choose the right worker based on fit and expectations.

Tap into talent
The advantages are clear: crowdsourcing for design and marketing allows small business owners to acquire the expertise they need when they need it. In a traditional work environment, these kind of specialized talents and qualifications are simply outside of the scope of small and even some medium-sized organizations.

Quick turnaround
What’s more, for small business, crowdsourcing makes the most of that precious commodity – time. From job post to job completion, contests can take as little as 7 days. (try that in the ‘real’ world!) Even complicated assignments can be parceled out so that projects are broken into meaningful, and measurable, tasks and milestones. Goals are set; tasks assigned; deadlines met!

Worldwide reach
Another key to the success of crowdsourcing is its ability to bring international capabilities to the small business “table”. Working with individual professionals in Australia, India, China or those European countries might not be on the radar for the average entrepreneur. But with crowdsourcing, a small business owner can “level the playing field” by hiring international specialists thus becoming more competitive with their larger, and more moneyed counterparts. Many websites offer a myriad of crowdsourcing services. In the realm of creative and marketing however, one site stands out: Witmart.com.

Affordability without sacrifice
At Witmart, prices are lower than most other sites for comparable services. For logo design, for example, employers choose from a selection of packages that start as low as $99 and range up to $549 for the premium option. Not only are these prices sharp, Witmart also guarantees the number of designers that you can expect to submit ideas – the only site on the market that does this currently. And, just in case you’re still not convinced they also offer a money-back guarantee! You heard right – if you don’t love it, you don’t pay. Simple and hassle-free.

So the next time you need a marketing guru, but you don’t know where to start, start with crowdsourcing and harness the power of the crowd.

Shared from http://peterwooden.areavoices.com/2013/06/05/crowdsourcing-it-might-be-the-secret-to-small-business-success/

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How to Minimize Search Costs For Your Business

With 3G and wireless on-the-go, it’s hard to believe that the internet as we know it now was only introduced a little over 20 years ago. However, everything comes at a cost. For the benefit of accessibility of information, we pay the price of TMI–too much information.

Business owners know this problem only too intimately. For simple needs such as getting a logo designed for their business, the costs associated with searching for the right logo designer includes not only monetary costs, but also time and effort spent. Meanwhile, talented people are just stumbling through the same millions of webpages, hoping to find just the right job for themselves. A solution for this problem is long overdue.

At Witmart we try to minimize the search costs of businesses by offering millions of talents at their disposal. At the same time, the talents have a more assured way of finding the right employers. A recent case study at Witmart illustrates this point well.

Diane, an Employer in the U.S., was looking forward to a peaceful retirement. She bought a sailboat and renamed it. In need for a logo to be put on the boat, she came to Witmart. She posted a logo design job on Witmart and was pleased to see nearly dozens of unique designs submitted within a few days, reflecting the vast number of talents available at Witmart. They had paid specially attention to her job description, incorporating her preference for wines and champagne in most of the designs.

At the same time, Fenrui, a Provider, was searching for a job. As a designer, he needed jobs that allowed him to create value and meaning for both him and his customers. He submitted a bid for the logo design job with three different designs for the Employer to choose.

The moment the Employer set her eyes on one of them, she knew that was the one. She briefly discussed the logo with the designer. After four messages, the whole matter was settled: the Employer had found the perfect logo for her sailboat.

” I liked the design as soon as I saw it.”——Diane

The Provider was based in China, the Employer in U.S. Without a platform like Witmart, it is hard to imagine how they would be able to find each other in the internet with billions of users. Besides, there would be no guarantee that the customer would get a good piece of work or the designer would get paid.

With over 7 million freelancers with diverse skills in various industries and a safe transactional platform, Witmart serves as the ideal place for any business owners to start their search for the right talent.

Shared from http://www39.jimdo.com/app/s89b8c5d582665e2f/p16bbaeb267d92c58/

5 Steps To Learning Freelance Logo Design

Freelancing is hot business across the board right now, and all kinds of industries and sectors are demanding freelance work for a variety of reasons. Freelancers are highly flexible, highly mobile, and perform great work while being able to jump from project to project without much fanfare or employment issues.

As such, in a bad economy, freelancers are in high demand. The graphic design and logo design industries themselves are no different; flexible and hard-working freelancers can find great gigs and work hard to really make a name for themselves in learning and perfecting design. Here’s how to get started.

Get An Education
First step to learning freelance logo design is to get an education. Whether that is some type of apprenticeship with a designer or graphic artist, or a formal education at a school of art or a university, an education is critical when it comes to learning graphic and logo design, and the nuances, themes, and theories behind the designs.

Get The Tools
As a freelance logo designer, you are going to need the proper tools for the job. These days, it comes down to tools like Adobe Illustrator CS6 for graphic design, or for people with a Microsoft program, the CorelDRAW X6. Using these tools isn’t cheap; however, they are great investments in your money and time, and a complete requirement to learning the nuances of design. Plus, you can use these tools to experiment and become better at design in your own right before moving on to professional clients.

Experiment on Your Own
This one is a critical step in the learning process for how to do and perfect logo design; experimenting on your own gives you the opportunity to perfect exactly what works and figure out how you can best fit a customer’s needs with your respective skills and abilities. By experimenting as you learn, you not only take chances on yourself, but learn which strengths you can showcase for clients.

Compensate Your Friends For Experience
Your friends are great assets to have when it comes to gaining experiencing and learning in professional logo design. You can comp them free logos, or ones at greatly reduced rates, in exchange for being able to practice on them and work on their logos to improve your skills. Ask them for honest feedback, too, as you learn what worked, what didn’t work, and how you can improve your talents as you go forward.

Perfect It As You Go
Finally, you must understand that logo design and graphic illustrating are never ending processes that constantly must be improved. Your learning as a freelancer never stops at any point, and you never become “just good enough.” Instead, you must constantly be willing to learn, push the boundaries, and improve yourself and your professional logo design skills every day.

The world of logo design is fun and challenging. Make sure that as you go along you make the effort and take the time to learn about design theories, new design software, and other design necessities that will keep you at the top of your game and at the top of business’s lists for freelance logo design jobs. This will also amount to great feedback and referrals that will keep you working consistently for years to come with as many logo design jobs as you can handle.

Is It Time To Redesign Your Business Logo?

Wherever you choose to go on your daily routine, you are sure to be bombarded with advertising messages from companies trying to tempt you with their sweet products or services. With so many different messages flashed in front of your face, many of which are advertising a variant of something else you saw two minutes before, it can become all too easy to get confused. An advertising jingle or slogan might stick in your head, but more often than not, you forget who it was that placed it there. That is where the business logo comes in to play, as they are far easier to remember than anything else. Mention a slogan and people will rack their brains trying to remember who it belongs to, but show them a logo and the name will come right to mind.

Modifying Your Logo to Match Current Times

There is a great deal of time and thought put into choosing the right logo for your business, but that doesn’t mean that it’s one that will necessarily last forever. Major corporations are constantly tweaking or changing their logo’s, often times to go with a sleeker look, or something that will appeal to a new customer demographic. Some changes are subtle, while others are a complete overhaul, but the fact that these major corporations change their business logos should tell you that it might be time to look at your own.

A good time to start thinking about redesigning your logo is if you have changed the service that you provide in one way or another. You have to look objectively at your current logo design and ask if it represents what it is you are offering potential customers. For example, you may have a beautiful, stylish logo designed for your landscaping company, but if it doesn’t contain an image that is somehow related to the industry you are in, then it might be time for a modification or complete change. If a customer looks at your logo and cannot quickly figure out what product or service you are providing, think about updating it.

This is even true for companies that have been in business for years. You have to evolve with the times so as not to keep people in the dark. If you are in the computer repair business and your logo contains an old style of computer that no longer exists, you really have to update to something more modern. People might still recognize what it is you are offering, but the old style logo might lead them to believe that you won’t be able to effectively repair their brand new, ultra-modern laptop.

As mentioned earlier, making changes to your logo doesn’t have to mean completely scrapping the old version. You might stick with the same image but update the font to something more modern, or vice versa. If you are unsure of where to start, take some time to look at how major corporations have updated their logos over the years. That should help you see how you might be able to change your business logo design so that it always appears current.

Finding Help When You Didn’t Think You Could

With over a billion people living on Earth today, can you imagine the total number of problems people need help with throughout their everyday lives and in the workplace? Need someone to design a logo for you? How about helping translate a document from Chinese to English? Fortunately, these problems have solutions because there are freelancers that specialize in logo design and translation services and can immediately step up and provide you with a solution. However, what if your problem is uncommon and you aren’t sure there is a specific freelancer that has the type of niche specialty you desire?

Freelancers have a wide range of skills that go beyond what they typically provide on a regular basis to employers. Additionally, most are willing to gain experience on topics that are new to them by dedicating themselves to research and putting forth their best effort to complete a job. Employers love this approach because it does not put them in an exhausting position of finding a new freelancer each time they have a new task at hand.

Take, for example, this rare need for Joanna. Joanna needs a playable MP3 file complete with audio birthday greetings using specific languages such as American English with a Texas drawl, Oxford English, English with a Long Island accent and more. She also wants to have the English translation at the end of the file. It’s a very unique need from a provider and she’s wondering if anyone has these special skills to complete the job. Upon scanning freelance sites, she wasn’t able to find a category that fit her request. However, she was determined to secure this fun 21st birthday gift for a friend and would stop at nothing to get the task completed.

With thousands and thousands of freelancers available at a moment’s notice, Joanna was pleasantly surprised to see many bids on her contest job posting. Some freelancers sent her custom birthday greetings within hours of the job being posted and exactly in the format and language she required. To say she was thrilled is an understatement. She next had the unfortunate task of picking the right provider since she received over 30 excellent responses to her job posting. In the end, she couldn’t settle on just one and ended up using 5 different providers to send her overseas friend a number of fun and exciting audio files wishing her the greatest 21st birthday wish possible.

Employers have no reason to be worried about freelancers not being able to solve a problem they have. Even a problem you consider to be odd by nature always has a willing freelancer to fill in the gaps you didn’t think existed. Freelancers, by nature, are incredibly helpful and dedicate themselves to meet your exact needs each and every time, no matter how strange or difficult you think the job may be.

39 year old Fairfield-born Harley hobbies and interests includes web design, collectibles, stamp collecting. He’s interested in exploring different places and nations around the world like Leoben,Austria.

From: logo design online http://www.Witmart.com/

Logo Design 101

Logo design is a skill that requires a combination of qualities brought together to form a trademark meant to last. Logo designs are challenging and can take numerous attempts to please an employer as well as yourself. While time consuming to create, the job of a logo design is to make an immediate impact at first glance, symbolizing the brand and identity of a business. Freelancers with experience in logo design must always remember to stay true to standard guidelines that make up a successful logo.

Straightforward
The bigger and more powerful the business, the more radiant you feel the logo should be, but that really isn’t the case. Paring the logo down to a simple and straightforward design is much better than dressing it up with too much flash and substance. Designs should be scalable across industries in colors and in size. Avoid over-analyzing a design.

Appropriate
Take into consideration the intentions and goals of the business and create a design that is appropriate to meet those needs. Logos aimed at toys and games should be brighter and child-friendly, while a professional business looking for a design to help them stand out would not want the same vibrant colors. Know the business’s target audience, and weave that relevance into your design.

Exclusive and Unforgettable
The goal in every logo design is to be as memorable as the Nike swoosh, instantly identifiable and unique. It stands in a class of its own. While this type of exclusivity is hard to duplicate, working to create a design that is new and fresh in its own right should be the approach that every logo designer takes. Make numerous attempts at an aesthetically pleasing design that has an aura of uniqueness.

Focus
Try not to waver outside the original intent of the design, both from the employer’s instructions and your background as a designer. Focus on making the design special and achieving a positive grade from an employer who loves the design and appreciates the time spent creating it.

Endurance
Creating a logo that will withstand the test of time is always a goal of a freelance logo designer. Every logo is touched up and modified over the years for a fresher look, but you never want your design to be dated or out of fashion. Avoid this by avoiding trendy fonts and bubbly imagery that may not stick. Refer back to simplicity and maintaining a straightforward design. The Coca-Cola logo has not changed substantially over the years and is an example of a logo with staying power.

Businesses want logos to act as a representation of their company and what they stand for from a visual sense. Pictures are known to tell a thousand words. Combining the right characteristics to form a logo will help people form a connection with the image and be able to recall the image in the future. Logos are a part of the overall identity of a business that, when done properly, can show off your business respectfully and help garner trust.

Measuring Social Media

Measuring PPC and SEO is relatively straightforward. But how do we go about credibly measuring social media campaigns, and wider public relations and audience awareness campaigns?
As the hype level of social media starts to fall, then more questions are asked about return on investment. During the early days of anything, the hype of the new is enough to sustain an endeavor. People don’t want to miss out. If their competitors are doing it, that’s often seen as good enough reason to do it, too.
You may be familiar with this graph. It’s called the hype cycle and is typically used to demonstrate the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies:

Where would social media marketing be on this graph?
I think a reasonable guess, if we’re seeing more and more discussion about ROI, is somewhere on the “slope of enlightenment”. In this article, we’ll look at ways to measure social media performance by grounding it in the only criteria that truly matter – business fundamentals.
Public Relations
We’ve talked about the Cluetrain Manifesto and how the world changed when corporations could no longer control the message. If the message can no longer be controlled, then measuring the effectiveness of public relations becomes even more problematic.
PR used to be about crafting a message and placing it, and nurturing the relationships that allowed that to happen. With the advent of social media, that’s still true, but the scope has expanded exponentially – everyone can now repeat, run with, distort, reconfigure and reinvent the messages. Controlling the message was always difficult, but now it’s impossible.
On the plus side, it’s now much easier to measure and quantify the effectiveness of public relations activity due to the wealth of web data and tools to track what people are saying, to whom, and when.
The Same, Only Different
As much as things change, the more they stay the same. PR and social media is still about relationships. And getting relationships right pays off:
Today, I want to write about something I’d like to call the “Tim Ferriss Effect.” It’s not exclusive to Tim Ferriss, but he is I believe the marquee example of a major shift that has happened in the last 5 years within the world of book promotion. Here’s the basic idea: When trying to promote a book, the main place you want coverage is on a popular single-author blog or site related to your topic…..The post opened with Tim briefly explaining how he knew me, endorsing me as a person, and describing the book (with a link to my book.) It then went directly into my guest post– there was not even an explicit call to action to buy my book or even any positive statements about my book. An hour later, (I was #45 on Amazon’s best seller list
Public relations is more than about selling, of course. It’s also about managing reputation. It’s about getting audiences to maintain a certain point of view. Social media provides the opportunity to talk to customers and the public directly by using technology to dis-intermediate the traditional gatekeepers.
Can We Really Measure PR & Social Media Performance?
How do you measure the value of a relationship?
Difficult.
How can you really tell if people feel good enough about your product or service to buy it, and that “feeling good” was the direct result of editorial placement by a well-connected public relations professional?
Debatable, certainly.
Can you imagine another marketing discipline that used dozens of methods for measuring results? Take search engine marketing for example. The standards are pretty cut and dry: visitors, page views, time on site, cost per click, etc. For email marketing, we have delivery, open rates, click thru, unsubscribes, opt-ins, etc”
In previous articles, we’ve looked at how data-driven marketing can save time and be more effective. The same is true of social media, but given it’s not an exact science, it’s a question of finding an appropriate framework.
There are a lot of people asking questions about social media’s worth.
No Industry Standard
Does sending out weekly press releases result in more income? How about tweeting 20 times a day? How much are 5,000 followers on Facebook worth? Without a framework to measure performance, there’s no way of knowing.
Furthermore, there’s no agreed industry standard.
In direct marketing channels, such as SEO and PPC, measurement is fairly straightforward. We count cost per click, number of visitors, conversion rate, time on site, and so on. But how do we measure public relations? How do we measure influence and awareness?
PR firms have often developed their own in-house terms of measurement. The problem is that without industry standards, success criteria can become arbitrary and often used simply to show the agency in a good light and thus validate their fees.
Some agencies use publicity results, such as the number of mentions in the press, or the type of mention i.e. prestigious placement. Some use advertising value equivalent i.e. is what editorial coverage would cost if it were buying advertising space. Some use public opinion measures, such as polls, focus groups and surveys, whilst others compare mentions and placement vs competitors i.e. who has more or better mentions, wins. Most use a combination, depending on the nature of the campaign.
Most business people would agree that measurement is a good thing. If we’re spending money, we need to know what we’re getting for that money. If we provide social media services to clients, we need to demonstrate what we’re doing works, so they’ll devote more budget to it in future. If the competition is using this channel, then we need to know if we’re using it better, or worse, than we are.
Perhaps the most significant reason why we measure is to know if we’ve met a desired outcome. To do that we must ignore gut feelings and focus on whether an outcome was achieved.
Why wouldn’t we measure?
Some people don’t like the accountability. Some feel more comfortable with an intuitive approach. It can be difficult for some to accept that their pet theories have little substance when put to the test. It seems like more work. It seems like more expense. It’s just too hard. When it comes to social media, some question whether it can be done much at all
For proof, look no further than The Atlantic, which shook the social media realm recently with its expose of “dark social” – the idea that the channels we fret over measuring like Facebook and Twitter represent only a small fraction of the social activity that’s really going on. The article shares evidence that reveals that the vast majority of sharing is still done through channels like email and IM that are nearly impossible to measure (and thus, dark).
And it’s not like a lot of organizations are falling over themselves to get measurement done:
According to a Hypatia Research report, “Benchmarking Social Community Platform Investments & ROI,” only 40% of companies measure social media performance on a quarterly or annual basis, while almost 13% or the organizations surveyed do not measure ROI from social media at all, and another 18% said they do so only on an ad hoc basis. (Hypatia didn’t specify what response the other 29% gave.)
If we agree that measurement is a good thing and can lead to greater efficiency and better decision making, then the fact your competition may not be measuring well, or at all, then this presents great opportunity. We should strive to measure social media ROI, as providers or consumers, or it becomes difficult to justify spend. The argument that we can’t measure because we don’t know all the effects of our actions isn’t a reason not to measure what we can.
Marketing has never been an exact science.
What Should We Measure?
Measurement should be linked back to business objectives.
In “Measure What Matters”, Katie Delahaye Paine outlines seven steps to social media measurement. I liked these seven steps, because they aren’t exclusive to social media. They’re the basis for measuring any business strategy and similar measures have been used in marketing for a long time.
It’s all about proving something works, and then using the results to enhance future performance. The book is a great source for those interested in reading further on this topic, which I’ll outline here.
1. What Are Your Objectives?
Any marketing objective should serve a business objective. For example, “increase sales by X by October 31st”.
Having specific, business driven objectives gets rid of conjecture and focuses campaigns. Someone could claim that spending 30 days tweeting a new message a day is a great thing to do, but if, at the end of it, a business objective wasn’t met, then what was the point?
Let’s say an objective is “increase sales of shoes compared to last December’s figures”. What might the social strategy look like? It might consist of time-limited offers, as opposed to more general awareness messages. What if the objective was to “get 5,000 New Yorkers to mention the brand before Christmas”? This would lend itself to viral campaigns, targeted locally. Linking the campaign to specific business objectives will likely change the approach.
If you have multiple objectives, you can always split them up into different campaigns so you can measure the effectiveness of each separately. Objectives typically fall into sales, positioning, or education categories.
2. Who Is The Audience?
Who are you talking to? And how will you know if you’ve reached them? Once you have reached them, what is it you want them to do? How will this help your business?
Your target audience is likely varied. Different audiences could be industry people, customers, supplier organizations, media outlets, and so on. Whilst the message may be seen by all audiences, you should be clear about which messages are intended for who, and what you want them to do next. The messages will be different for each group as each group likely picks up on different things.
Attach a value to each group. Is a media organization picking up on a message more valuable than a non-customer doing so? Again, this should be anchored to a business requirement. “We need media outlets following us so they may run more of our stories in future. Our research shows more stories has led to increased sales volume in the past”. Then a measure might be to count the number of media industry followers, and to monitor the number of stories they produce.
3. Know Your Costs
What does it cost you to run social media campaigns? How much time will it take? How does this compare to other types of campaigns? What is your opportunity cost? How much does it cost to measure the campaign?
As Delahaye Paine puts it, it’s the “I” in ROI.
4. Benchmark
Testing is comparative, so have something to compare against.
You can compare yourself against competitors, and/or your own past performance. You can compare social media campaigns against other marketing campaigns. What do those campaigns usually achieve? Do social media campaigns work better, or worse, in terms of achieving business goals?
In terms of ROI, what’s a social media “page view” worth? You could compare this against the cost of a click in PPC.
5. Define KPIs
Once you’ve determined objectives, defined the audience, and established benchmarks, you should establish criteria for success.
For example, the objective might be to increase media industry followers. The audience is the media industry and the benchmark is the current number of media industry followers. The KPI would be the number of new media industry followers signed up, as measured by classifying followers into subgroups and conducting a headcount.
Measuring the KPI will differ depending on objective, of course. If you’re measuring the number of mentions in the press vs your competitor, that’s pretty easy to quantify.
“Raising awareness” is somewhat more difficult, however once you have a measurement system in place, you can start to break down the concept of “awareness” into measurable components. Awareness of what? By whom? What constitutes awareness? How to people signal they’re aware of you? And so on.
6. Data Collection Tools
How will you collect measurement data?
 Content analysis of social or traditional media
 Primary research via online, mail or phone survey
 Web analytics
There are an overwhelming number of tools available, and outside the scope of this article. No tool can measure “reputation” or “awareness” or “credibility” by itself, but can produce usable data if we break those areas down into suitable metrics. For example, “awareness” could be quantified by “page views + a survey of a statistically valid sample”.
Half the battle is asking the right questions.
7. Take Action
A measurement process is about iteration. You do something, get the results back, act on them and make changes, and arrive at a new status quo. You then do something starting from that new point, and so on. It’s an ongoing process of optimization.
Were objectives met? What conclusions can you draw?
Those seven steps will be familiar to anyone who has measured marketing campaigns and business performance. They’re grounded in the fundamentals. Without relating social media metrics back to the underlying fundamentals, we can never be sure if what we’re doing is making or a difference, or worthwhile. Is 5,000 Twitter followers a good thing?
It depends.
What business problem does it address?
Did You Make A Return?
You invested time and money. Did you get a return?
If you’ve linked your social media campaigns back to business objectives you should have a much clearer idea. Your return will depend on the nature of your business, of course, but it could be quantified in terms of sales, cost savings, avoiding costs or building an audience.
In terms of SEO, we’ve long advocated building brand. Having people conduct brand searches is a form of insurance against Google demoting your site. If you have brand search volume, and Google don’t return you for brand searches, then Google looks deficient.
So, one goal of social media that gels with SEO is to increase brand awareness. You establish a benchmark of branded searches based on current activity. You run your social media campaigns, and then see if branded searches increase.
Granted, this is a fuzzy measure, especially if you have other awareness campaigns running, as you can’t be certain cause and effect. However, it’s a good start. You could give it a bit more depth by integrating a short poll for visitors i.e. “did you hear about us on Twitter/Facebook/Other?”.
Mechanics Of Measurement
Measuring social media isn’t that difficult. In fact, we could just as easily use search metrics in many cases. What is the cost per view? What is the cost per click? Did the click from a social media campaign convert to desired action? What was your business objective for the social media campaign? To get more leads? If so, then count the leads. How much did each lead cost to acquire? How does that cost compare to other channels, like PPC? What is the cost of customer acquisition via social media?
In this way, we could split social media out into the customer service side and marketing side. Engaging with your customers on Facebook may not be all that measurable in terms of direct marketing effects, it’s more of a customer service function. As such, budget for the soft side of social media need not come out of marketing budgets, but customer service budgets. This could still be measured, or course, by running customer satisfaction surveys.
Is Social Media Marketing Public Relations?
Look around the web for definitions of the differences between PR and social media, and you’ll find a lot of vague definitions.
Social media is a tool used often used for the purpose of public relations. The purpose is to create awareness and nurture and guide relationships.
Public relations is sometimes viewed it as a bit of a scam. It’s an area that sucks money, yet can often struggle to prove its worth, often relying on fuzzy, feel-good proclamations of success and vague metrics. It doesn’t help that clients can have unrealistic expectations of PR, and that some PR firms are only too happy to promise the moon:
PR is nothing like the dark, scary world that people make it out to be—but it is a new one for most. And knowing the ropes ahead of time can save you from setting impossibly high expectations or getting overpromised and oversold by the firm you hire. I’ve seen more than my fair share of clients bringing in a PR firm with the hopes that it’ll save their company or propel a small, just-launched start-up into an insta-Facebook. And unfortunately, I’ve also seen PR firms make these types of promises. Guess what? They’re never kept
Internet marketing, in general, has a credibility problem when it doesn’t link activity back to business objectives.
Part of that perception, in relation to social media, comes from the fact public relations isdifficult to control:
The main conduit to mass publics, particularly with a consumer issue such as rail travel or policing, are the mainstream media. Unlike advertising, which has total control of its message, PR cannot convey information without the influence of opinion, much of it editorial. How does the consumer know what is fact, and what has influenced the presentation of that fact?
But lack of control of the message, as the Cluetrain Manifesto points out, is the nature of the environment in which we exist. Our only choice, if we are to prosper in the digital environment, is to embrace the chaos.
Shouldn’t PR just happen? If you’re good, people just know? Well, even Google, that well known, engineering-driven advertising company has PR deeply embedded from almost day one:
David Krane was there from day one as Google’s first public relations official. He’s had a hand in almost every single public launch of a Google product since the debut of Google.com in 1999.
Good PR is nurtured. It’s a process. The way to find out if it’s good PR or ineffective PR is to measure it. PR isn’t a scam, anymore so than any other marketing activity is a scam. We can find out if it’s worthwhile only by tracking and measuring and linking that measurement back to a business case. Scams lack transparency.
The way to get transparency is to measure and quantify.

From SEO BOOK: http://www.seobook.com/measuring-social-media