When people mention social media marketing, it’s all too easy to think they are referring to Facebook and just Facebook. However, social media marketing spans a number of channels such as Twitter, social sharing sites and of course, your blog. A holistic approach targeting all channels and a blog as the central hub is a winning social media strategy.
But how do you prioritize those channels? How should the money be spread around?
A study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (reported by eMarketer), indicates that many Inc. 500 companies are using a mix of tactics in social marketing.
According to the study, 71% of companies used Facebook last year which is up from 61% in 2009. Twitter was close behind with 59% and blogging at 50%.
That last number is interesting! Remember, Facebook is a proprietary channel and it’s open to your competitors as well. Putting all your eggs in that basket or any basket is something to be wary of. Grow your social marketing success from your blog and radiate outward from there.
Those companies using social media also seem to be winning with it. The study found that 85% of them considered Facebook as successful which is up from 54% in 2009. However it hasn’t quite matched more traditional online communities for success, 93% viewed message boards (forums) as a successful tactic. Not even measured in 2009, foursquare, makes a great impression with 75% of companies reporting it as a successful tactic. While Twitter held pretty steady compared to 2009, with 82% reporting it was a good tactic for marketing.
More companies are seeing the value and importance of social media, with 86% reporting that social media is somewhat or very important to their business and marketing in 2010.
It’s encouraging to see leading companies opening up to new ways to interact with the public and market their products, but are they following all the way through on this new way of thinking? This isn’t just a case of new marketing channels to push product through, but a fundamental shift in how we market and communicate to customers.
While marketers may be trying to figure out which channel has the best bang for the buck, consumers are blithely moving from one to the other and back again as it suits them. They won’t ask if you are there or even wonder why – they will simply talk to whoever is.
Marketers have to find solutions which provide a voice on all channels the consumer travels through which is consistent, flexible, engaging and useful. In traditional media the consumer had to tailor themselves to fit the channel and they were willing to do so because of the limitations of the technology. But those days are gone and now marketers have to tailor their message and the delivery method to fit the cross-channel consumer