Day Five: Social Media and The Return of the Customer Relationship
Social media has become ubiquitous. It transcends age, gender and geography. As of June 2012, Facebook has 955 million active users (Yung-Hui, 2012). Twitter has 140 million active users (Bennett, March 2012). LinkedIn has 161 million members and 1 million LinkedIn groups (Bennett, Nov. 2012). And YouTube sees 800 million unique visits each month, with those users consuming a combined 4 billion hours of video (YouTube, 2012).
But social media is more than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Social media encompasses social bookmarking, slideshares, podcasts, blogs, user-powered news sites, forums, check-in apps, product and service reviews, email newsletters and more. If people are sharing information and engaging in conversations through some form of technology, they are using social media.
Businesses worldwide see this gathering of consumers who voluntarily segment themselves into niche groups as marketing opportunities. Sixty-five percent of the world’s top companies maintain a Twitter presence. Ninety percent of marketers use social media channels for business, and 72 percent of experienced social media marketers (three or more years working in the medium) see a boost in turnover because of social media (Pring, 2012). This shift is likely occurring because consumers are less trusting in paid advertising and more in “earned” advertising, which the 2012 Neilsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey confirms.
Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen, says, “Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends, colleagues and co-workers and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences” (Grimes, 2012).
Social media is the ideal tool for leveraging online consumer opinions. A community that is actively engaged with a brand will say positive things about products, both in the form of formal product reviews as well as through more casual channels, like posts, comments and likes, which can spill over into word-of-mouth support. For business-to-business (B2B) marketing, these facts and figures continue to apply, as the ultimate goal of B2B marketing is to influence key decision makers within a business. According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 93 percent of B2B marketers use social media to market their businesses, up from 88 percent in 2010 (Mershon, 2012). The survey also noted that B2B marketers tend to be veteran social media marketers, having three or more years of experience over business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers (Mershon, 2012).
The research demonstrates that social media is a powerful tool for brands working both in B2C and in B2B, and chances are that if you are not on social media, your competitors are (Formalarie, 2012). Social media marketing is no longer an option. It’s a must.
Learn More, Read the Book
Order Satellite Marketing: Using Social Media to Create Engagement from CRC Press.
Satellite Marketing provides a complete understanding of social media and a proven process to create an actionable strategic plan that is based on goals. Readers will learn why successful marketing has evolved from product-centric to customer-centric, as well as lessons learned from established communications channels that aptly apply to social media.
The book details a step-by-step process to help readers identify measurable goals, better understand the audience, create a strategy, select social media, build engagement, develop a communications plan, and measure performance.
- Provides a complete understanding of social media, simply explained by an accomplished practitioner
- Identifies the opportunities for social media within integrated marketing communications
- Teaches a proven process to create an actionable strategic plan, based on measurable goals
- Provides case stories, business reference, and academic citations