For all of us public radio fans, it wasn't surprising when Pew released numbers yesterday that showed that NPR is a source of news for more people than Twitter, Faceboook and YouTube combined. And that even PBS was a bigger source of news than social media.
At the same time this amusing headline crossed my desk: P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It's Free To Advertise On Facebook. Procter & Gamble's CEO specifically cited the efficiency of social media in his remarks referring to the "free impressions" (presumably via sharing and PR) garnered by the Old Spice Guy.
The juxtaposition of these two data points illustrates so perfectly the dilemma marketers have. From an advertising perspective, Google or Facebook ads are much more tangible and cost effective than advertising has ever been before. Advertisers get so much more than just eyeballs on Facebook. They know when those eyeballs react to what you're putting out there. That lttle click thru or like tells them that the human behind that eyeball has responded to your ad. Not only is social media new and different, but social media analytics make it far more tangible.
On the other hand, many of the people they want to reach are getting information from the most intangible sources out there -- Radio. Top of the Pew list is cable news, of course, and that's only slightly less tangible.
It is this dichotomy that makes social media such a dillemma for marketers, AND why the demand for social media measurement is so strong. It's great to know that there are real people behind the eyeballs, but if there aren't enough of them. where do you go?