An infographic by Focus compares the costs of social media vs. its expected upside, using key brands as case studies. The results favor social media (when invested in the way these brands have - with long-term commitment).

A well-thought out infographic developed by Focus attempts to shed some light on the cost of branded social media strategy and activities, weighing its costs against potential benefits. The detailed graphic is of course worth a detailed look; though we've culled some of the key points that stood out to us, below:

Factors that should be considered in a cost estimate for a social media campaign include staffing costs, advertising and other fees – which net out at an estimated average cost of $210,600 Main benefits experienced and perceived by US Marketing Executives include customer engagement, direct communication with customers, speed in obtaining feedback and researching customer preferences, low cost, and brand-building The average amount spent by a Facebook fan exceeded that spent by a non-Facebook fan for brands like McDonald's, Coke, Starbucks, Nike, and Victoria's Secret, among others On average, a Facebook fan spent $71.84 more on products of which they're ‘fans' of Facebook fans are 41% more likely to recommend a liked product to their friends. Estimated ROI on a Twitter account with 33,000 followers? 43% Using @OldSpice as a case study, Focus found a 2700% increase in Twitter followers, 800% increase in Facebook fans, and a 300% increase in traffic to the brand site

Is the information and landscape assessed in 100% completion? Doubtful due to the variety of angles one can come at all available data from. But judging from some of this preliminary data and case studies – when social media becomes something a brand INVESTS in with consistency and commitment, it's very difficult to argue that the benefits don't exceed its limited costs.

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