Social media is all about people, and as social role's prominence as a business tool continues to grow, and according to software provider EPiServer, there will soon be substantial growth in the number of people -- 'community managers' -- who are hired to manage social media.
In a survey of 250 senior marketing executives in the UK, EPiServer
found that nearly three-quarters of companies are involved with online
communities or planned to be within the next 12 months.
As would be
expected, much of the activity in this area is taking place on popular
third party-owned sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
From the largest of brands to the mom-and-pop store down the street, it seems like every business is setting up a social media presence of some type.
And for good reason: everywhere you look, somebody is extolling the virtues of social media and what it can do for businesses.
But social media, like most channels, has its limitations.
Over the past two years, Facebook has fast become a major area of
interest for brand marketers.
Lured in by the social network's 500m+ users, some marketers are evoking memories of the AOL days, going
as far as to promote Facebook Pages over their own websites.
From storefronts to movie rentals, brands are increasingly
focusing on trying to use the site as a platform for commerce. Some
believe Facebook commerce, or f-commerce, could be the next big phase in
the evolution of ecommerce.
But according to a report by Forrester
Research's Sucharita Mulpuru, despite all of the talk about f-commerce,
Facebook isn't likely to become a retail force.
Earlier this week, Twitter launched an update to its search
functionality. One of the goals: make it "easier to find and follow accounts based on your interests." As detailed on the Twitter
blog, "When you search for a topic, you can now discover accounts that
are relevant to that particular subject."
Given Twitter's popularity as an online marketing tool, the company's
search update necessarily has implications for brands looking for more
love on the site.
After all, if your company sells cookies, having your account recommended to Twitter users searching for "cookies" is a
Social media is here to stay. And for many brands, that means that a social marketing strategy is not optional.
As it evolves, marketers will need to evolve how they exploit the opportunities created by social media. Here are three techniques that brands will probably need to think beyond to succeed in the coming years...
Facebook is the king of social media, and eager to tap into a 500m-plus strong audience, brands have flocked there to reach consumers on the world's most popular social network.
Setting up a Facebook Page gives brands the ability to collect 'fans' and to reach out to them directly. Some of the world's most recognizable brands (and individuals) have millions of fans, a potentially powerful marketing asset.
LinkedIn Company Page's were featured at a New York media event this morning. It was not what anyone would consider a significant launch, but it was a long overdue indication that LinkedIn is moving the right direction.
Your business won’t survive unless you embrace social media.
Countless business owners have heard these words. Is there any truth to
them? Perhaps in some instances. But in far more, social media, no
matter how important, is still something that should be approached
thoughtfully and strategically.
We all know about social media 'gurus': the hired guns with thin track
records who claim that they know all of the secrets to social media
success and can boost your business on Facebook and Twitter for a sum.
In most cases, the social media 'guru' is thought of as an
opportunistic type who overpromises and underdelivers. But a friend in
the United States who works as a strategic marketing consultant relayed
a story to me that hints there may be social media gurus who are
really social media 'scammers.'
Newspapers? Dying? Social media? Rising. That's the conventional wisdom, at least, and marketers seem to be buying into it.
While spending on social media marketing is still relatively small, it's increasing rapidly. At the same time, anyone selling newspaper ads has probably given some thought to a new profession.
But is the conventional wisdom wrong, either wholly or partially? Should marketers be less upbeat about social media marketing, and more upbeat about what newspapers can offer? At least one consultant thinks so.