Earlier this week, I participated in a panel event hosted by Portland Advertising Federation and SEMpdx. The Social Media Smackdown featured a 4 person panel, 2 representing the pro-business in social media and 2 taking the anti-business position. To prepare for my pro-business position, I compiled the following list:

Top 10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Engage in Social Media

1. Your customers and competitors are already there (joining in droves every day & can’t be ignored)

2. Social media offers an excellent resource for R&D: your constituents are helping evolve your products & services (world’s most affordable focus group – if you’re listening)

3. Social media offers an affordable & effective customer service & support medium (DIY videos, images, blogs, wikis, etc.)

4. Social media offers an excellent industry/competitive research vehicle (we use it for keyword trending, and development of SEM messaging & offers)

5. Social media offers effective technique for online reputation management (ORM)

6. Social media offers a proven platform for customer engagement & empowerment (Lion Brand Facebook case study)

7. Social media offers proven ad platforms, including Facebook & LinkedIn, if it’s targeted, timely & relevant (DIBroker case study)

8. It’s highly measurable, yet difficult to measure, but you win either way (Wal-Mart’s Glad Bag theory)

9. Large brands are helping refine & validate ad revenue models & police the social media space for everyone else

10. According to research, socially-engaged organizations are more profitable (ENGAGEMENTdb, eMarketer)

Feel free to share your thoughts & comments below!