I pulled this post from Conversation starter, "Why Social Applications Will Thrive In A Recession". It was posted by Josh Bernoff .
"...social applications are about consideration, not awareness. Blogs, word of mouth, social networks... they're about people connecting with other people. You may resist advertising if your finances are tight, but if your bud tells you that new movie is really worth seeing or that the Gap has the cutest new tops, that's more persuasive than advertising. Basically, in a recession, the consideration phase is more important than awareness -- and that's where advertising flops and social applications succeed.
* It's cheap. Social applications can be nearly free (think blogs, Ning.com, facebook pages) and even more sophisticated communities are typically $30K to $200K -- a lot cheaper than a significant sized ad campaign. After our last post, all the responses were positive. One interactive marketer from a highly cyclical company told us this:
"Budgets are tight in light of the economic conditions as you surmise, but [the budget for social applications] has not been impacted. We are still keen to move forward with our trial and have supportâ€¦.at this point anyway. Interactive in general has been more protected than other comms areas and saw an increase."
* It's measurable. If your social application doesn't have a measurable output, you'd better get one. But if it does -- if it generates leads, or conversions, or buzz, or something useful -- then you can prove it's working. beinggirl.com is four times as effective as TV ads, Procter & Gamble told us. That won't get cut in a recession."
Josh Bernoff is a vice president at Forrester Research and the author, with Charlene Li, of the forthcoming book, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies