There are now hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide using social networks, blogs, microblogs, online forums and video-sharing sites, and marketers have followed them there. Social media marketing has gone from experimental to must-have, and that increases the importance of adopting an integrated social strategy.
According to research from marketing management firm Unica, the proportion of marketers integrating their social campaigns with other channels varies widely depending on the tactic. While a majority of voting features, product reviews, user-generated content and RSS feeds are integrated with other campaigns, that is not true of efforts on social networking sites, blogs or microblogs.
Unica said in its report that the main ways marketers are integrating their social campaigns are in regard to timing, creative themes and branding.
In November 2009, MarketingSherpa surveyed US marketers about their stage in the social media life cycle; a plurality were still in the transition phase. But a substantial percentage had progressed to using social media strategically in their research, objectives and actions. That entailed having a formal process that was routinely performed for social campaigns.
Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst, said in the report “Five Reasons Why Marketers Need to Have a Social Media Strategy” that marketers often neglect an integrated strategy because of the perception that social media is easy and cheap to do. But much of the real cost of social campaigns is in the people-hours spent fostering and maintaining social conversations.
According to data from eROI and eMarketing & Commerce (eM+C), US marketers spent 13% of their online marketing time on social media in 2009, the second-largest share of any tactic.
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Check out today’s other article, “Targeted Ads Mine Social Connections.”
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