Although many major companies are still skeptical about getting involved in the social landscape – research shows 96% of these brands expect to dedicate more time and resources to social media initiatives over the next year.
While more brands are familiar with social media now, knowing that you probably need a presence in the social space and knowing what you’ll do there are two entirely different things. And, speaking from personal experience, selling social to the skeptics – in the C-Suite and beyond – is still a whole lot of work. As it should be.
It always helps if you come prepared with a concrete outline of exactly what you can expect from spending time, effort and budget dollars on integrating social media into your marketing strategies. It also helps if you can be sure you’re working with a team who understands marketing – and the importance of a comprehensive strategic plan – and not just some social media ninja who talks a good game but wouldn’t know marketing if it bit him – or her – in the nether regions.
The good news is the perceived value of being engaged in social media is becoming more apparent to brands. 85% of marketers view their Facebook fan pages as a good place to gain consumer insights – as well as a tool that can help them build consumer loyalty. A lot of brands seem to be putting more eggs in the Facebook basket than what I think is prudent, but that’s a topic for another post. Smart businesses – and smart business people – are also flocking to LinkedIn which, with 100 million users, only makes sense. We spend a lot of time using LinkedIn for our own business, as well as training our clients to leverage this powerful platform for networking, prospecting, sharing resources and more.
But, knowing where to spend your time in the social media realm is always the difficult part. We don’t ever recommend diving into social media without a solid strategy in place – one that takes into consideration where your customers and prospects are, what your ultimate goals for reaching, connecting with and/or engaging them in the social space is, and what represents success for you as the result of the effort and monies you spend.
So if your brand is starting to “get it” and you want more specifics about various social media sites and what you can expect for them to provide (e.g. more web traffic, better SEO, more opportunities for engagement, etc.) check out this chart that was developed by the smart folks at CMO.com called The Social Media Landscape 2011. This chart outlines a variety of social networks and includes key features and benefits of each.
And, because we know you’ll wanna, if you’d like a handy-dandy downloadable PDF of the chart, get it here. Of course, if you’d like some help with figuring all that social media stuff out, we’re here to help. We’ve been told we’re pretty good at it.
Photo credit: brycej