As we segue into the last part of 2010, it’s worth asking how social your marketing has been this year.
Or, maybe more pertinent a question: how social should it have been?
Reading back on a commentary piece from Interbrand in 2009, focused on the use of social media and subtitled “Make 2009 the year you engage”, the sentiments should seem almost quaint in August 2010. But are they really so quaint and how far have brands genuinely moved with the uptake of social media marketing?
Writers, Bunny Ellerin and Nora Geiss pointed out at the time that “there is still much confusion about how to integrate new forms of communication, particularly digital and mobile, into a brand’s marketing plan.”
And this was despite a predicted compound annual growth rate in US social media spend of 34% – which, based on Interbrand’s figures would mean a figure of $3.1bn by 2014. According to a recent analysis by eMarketer, this level of investment is well underway, with the actual social media spend (by advertisers) this year predicted to be $1.7bn in the US and $3.3bn worldwide.
With all this extra money being spent (granted, calculated on advertising spend rather than other forms of social media engagement) are companies making the most effective use of social media?
Ellerin and Geiss provided a handy six-point social media plan for brands in 2009.
How many of these can you tick off as we reach the final furlong of 2010?
1. Start tracking your brand online.
2. Establish a relationship with an [online] opinion leader.
3. Support a social network in your category.
4. Engage with consumers at one of their many online haunts.
5. Use video to communicate and educate.
6. Go mobile [i.e., phone apps].
I’d be very interested to know if your response to all this is “Duh! Course we are, stupid!” or “Hmmm. Maybe 2011 is the year we’ll engage”.