Extensive research by Marketing Charts reveals that the majority of marketers across the US expect to increase their social media budgets in 2014. Industry insiders also predict that three major social marketing trends will prove key to the integrated marketer’s success in the year to come.
1. Think Integration
Janrain VP of Marketing Bill Piwonka says marketing departments will increasingly include social media marketing in the overall integrated marketing mix, not treat it as an appendage. As always, sound social media marketing processes apply. These include integrating customer activity from social media networks into the overarching marketing strategy. That means marketing rather than IT must assume greater responsibility for managing customer communication on social channels.
2. Think Visually
Visually driven content soon will dominate all social marketing, suggests Forbes Magazine’s Jayson DeMers. Whereas such channels as YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Flicker once were the mainstays for visual content, now all social channels prioritize images and video, since online visitors prefer visual communications with fewer words. Shareable, visual content should also be the star in small business marketing, as it outperforms text on social networks many times over.
3. Think Peer-to-Peer
As the influence of crowdsourcing continues to rise, successful marketers must capitalize on it. The worldwide growth of crowdsourcing for recommendations has made these channels the norm in many markets. More and more purchase decisions are made based on peer influence. As such, Jesse Ness, Senior Marketing Manager at Ecwid predicts that social commerce, i.e., using social networks to facilitate e-commerce transactions, will intensify.
Strategic Focus Will Triumph—Again
The growing importance of social media marketing to integrated marketing campaigns represents both an opportunity and challenge for smaller businesses, where owners and managers wear many hats. Focus is everything. Far better to use a few channels and develop them with rich content, compelling graphics, and regular posts than to try to support every channel under the sun. Choose your channels wisely. Find the ones most frequented by your customers. Besides social networks, consider major forums, blogs, and discussion groups in your market. The winning formula may sound familiar. Quality before quantity. Images before words. Consistency before haphazardness. Customers before everything. True, social marketing may be new, but some things never change.
Last modified: July 17, 2017