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Social Media Trends

DATE PUBLISHED: May 04, 2012
 
Ok, it’s almost June – almost halfway through 2012! My how time flies! Last year we made all many observations and predictions on what businesses would be doing with social media in 2012, and now that it’s almost the midpoint of the year, what are businesses actually doing with social media?

Well, for starters – here’s a remarkable percentage: less than 10% of businesses are saying that they wouldn’t use social media in their marketing mix. That’s down from 24% last year. Put another way – over 90% of businesses ARE using social media. Wow! That’s huge. And it’s growing every day.

Here’s another interesting fact – those marketers who found using social media a challenge – said so because they lacked sufficient resources to dedicate to social media marketing. Translation: we don’t have people with the time, or the skills to do social media. Too bad – they’re missing out on a marketing phenomenon that will probably never be duplicated in their lifetime. There is an easy fix, however. Hire a firm to do it! It’s really that simple to do – and that important.

Here’s why. Right now, small and medium-sized businesses will be doubling their social media budgets this year. That’s about $2 billion. Yes, billion. If your business isn’t part of this media trend, you’re going to be losing customers. How many of your customers are on Facebook? Or Twitter? Or viewing videos on YouTube? You may not know the actual number, but you can rest assured that the number is high. It’s trending that way all across the United States, in every business category. So if you’re not visible where the target customers go, you’re going to be losing those customers to businesses who are there: and they’re called “your competitors.”

The reason you can count on this is that many companies are now tracking their social media presence. What’s being measured? Top of the list is the number of followers and fans. Next is the number of hits on their websites, followed by mentions on social media platforms. Whatever area of use that businesses are measuring, they’re finding that customers are using social media in huge numbers.

What type of social media is deemed effective? Well, the most effective use is optimizing social media sites to improve search engine rankings. The second most effective or somewhat effective use is using social media to build one-on-one relationships with bloggers, network moderators and other social influencers who have the potential to generate a buzz for your company. These are critical relationships; once developed they continue to pump your company name and information out there, without costing you one penny in marketing dollars.

Bottom line – as the year unfolds it’s becoming more and more clear that you must incorporate social media into your marketing mix. Here’s wishing you good luck!

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