"Quick question what organizations or even business case studies are you aware of where their use of social media has produced bottom line results or profits however it may be defined? These studies may not be perfect for what we are trying to do but I definitely think it would lend some insights. I am having a hard time finding any...Or is social media so organic that you can't really trace the "conversations" to a bottom line result?"
I wouldn't consider this a "Golden Example", but I like to attribute a large part of Barack Obama's success to social media. From "Obama Girl" and JibJab, to the many YouTube activists debunking myths spread by the opposition, this Election is taking a whole new dynamic never before seen. I was amazed to see how fast (and decisive) the Muslim and "Hussein" rumors got thrown down on YouTube, and the opposition literally being laughed at in public for spreading such lies.
As recently as last week there was a blurb about a McCain supporter holding an "Obama" monkey doll, figured out that he was being videotaped, and quickly handed that doll off to some nearby kid. That's huge: this guy didn't feel safe with publicly heckling Obama at a Republican Party event.
There are "bottom line" results trickling in via Obama's Campaign warchest, with a bulk of sub-$100 contributions, but that's really only a fraction of the overall benefit.
Without Social Media in the mix to educate and debunk the myths, the majority of people would be "programmed" to vote based on the frequency of viewing paid TV and Radio Ads; and the watchdogs wouldn't have a widely-received outlet to publish any fact-checking.