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Social Media and Marketing: Here to Stay?
I am a big fan of MarketingProfs and consume their reports and data points with the same level of enjoyment of the day's first coffee (preferably a tall mocha from Starbucks). MarketingProf's recently published the "Digital Marketing Factbook," a well-done report that covers recent online data, email marketing, search marketing and social media marketing. While much of the online data was focused on B2C research, I still find it interesting. For example, did you know that the Top 5 countries with the highest population percentages using the Internet are Greenland, the Netherlands, Norway, Antigua & Barbuda and Iceland? The U.S. placed 13th with a 72.3% Internet penetration rate.The facts that I find most relevant to our B2B areas of focus were found in the Social Media Marketing section. Of the Fortune 100 companies, 54% are using Twitter to directly reach users. And approximately a third have a corporate blog or Facebook fan page. When additional surveys are examined, MarketingProfs found that 65% of companies are using social networking sites in some capacity, and 52% are involved in video and photo sharing. This info gives an interesting perspective on how traditional marketing tactics are changing, what new tactics other companies are using, and how usage of the tactics compare against each other. And why are social media tactics being used for marketing today? The top reasons are:
- Brand awareness and brand building
- Acquiring new customers
- Introducing new products or services
- Retaining current customers
- Marketing research
- Brand promotions, such as new pricing or seasonal discounts
The top challenge for marketers in launching an integrated social media program did not suprise me. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents found their top challenge to be determining metrics by which to measure success. This tends to be the case in a lot of digital marketing applications, and I think it is because we are required to look at success in a different light in our new Web 2.0 world. It no longer is about how many people visit your landing page....but where they are coming from, where they go on your website, how long they spend on a specific area, what they download, etc. The same holds true for social media. I can not concretely show you the minds influenced by what is written on our Twitter account. But I can tell you about the excellent contacts made, the meaningful information shared, and that the followers we have are truly relevant to our business goals. And, yes, I do think social media marketing is here to stay....and I believe we will all be better for it.