The 2012 state of inbound marketing
Every year more and more businesses turn to social media to get their message out, many are not sure on the return that they are getting or the effectiveness of their strategy. Hubspot publish a yearly report on the cost effectiveness of some of these methods.
Traditional ways of getting your message out there (outbound shotgun approach using newspaper adverts, direct mail, flyers, tradeshows etc) can be prohibitively expensive, particularly for small companies. Inbound marketing (where people opt-in using social media such as blogs, facebook, twitter) provide new and very efficient ways of reaching an audience.
As an example, I do some work for a not for profit organisation BodyInMind.org (in fact we make no money at all) whose main aim is to disseminate high quality research on the topic of pain research. Using social media has proved a very effective means of not only reaching a niche audience but of enabling them to spread the message further.
If you are looking for marketing advice this report will give some good pointers as to what is effective and why. Along with evidence as to which platforms work best depending on what it is you are looking to do