From a marketers perspective, there are literally countless ways that social media can increase revenue, productivity and profitability, though we can boil it down to a few general categories.
First, a company whose employees and agents actively participate and engage in social networking, blogging and micro-blogging can create extremely low cost executions of PR outreach (particularly in blogs) and consumer brand engagement. Essentially, the costs are just time spent engaging with the audience, which leads to the second thing: getting direct feedback from your consumers.
How great is it that while you’re doing PR outreach and brand engagement, you’re also having a direct conversation with your customers where they tell you what they like don’t like? That’s a lot cheaper than hiring a bunch of consultants to run focus groups and do vast surveys.
Third, at this point, social media is also generally far cheaper as an advertising medium. The content is the conversation; it’s generated for free and without overhead; and thus, it’s priced accordingly – much cheaper than mainstream media properties, often with far greater reach.