Social Media in essence is free, right? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc…they don’t charge you to have an account or to create a business page, giving you the opportunity to promote your products and services to billions of people online. Okay, advertising on these networks costs money, true, but in comparison to traditional means of advertising (print, TV, radio) the cost of advertising via social media networks is much less.

But, can social media actually save you money? Ford certainly saved money in its recent launch of the Ford Fiesta. Jim Farley, Ford CMO, was quoted “On the Fiesta Movement, we had higher unaided nameplate awareness than Fit or Yaris, and we spent 10 cents on the dollar, than a traditional tv ad campaign. So by starting earlier and using social media to spread the word about the new product, we’re really reducing the amount of traditional advertising we have to spend.”

It’s sometimes difficult to predict a true ROI for using social media. In the Ford case, however, it’s important to realize, as Farley explains above, that social media is lowering the amount of money that Ford has to spend on traditional advertising. That’s money that can then be spent on product development, customer service, and other areas that improves the quality of the product, as well as customer satisfaction. Which ultimately…increases sales. So this is another example of social media working indirectly.

How are you using social media to save your business money?