I hope everyone had a restful Holiday Season, and as I emerge from the launch of Offerpop for Facebook (see some of our press coverage here) I wanted to share a few thoughts and a snazzy new graphic on where I see social marketing headed in 2011. In a way, after a couple years of hype and experimentation, I see 2011 as the year when the rubber hits the road so to speak. Where social channels not only become mainstream and part of the everyday marketing toolbox - but also where campaigns on Twitter or Facebook need to have clear ROI, and consumers become more savvy about 'playing along.' I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!
If there are any remaining doubts about social media marketing moving into the mainstream, consider:
- 56% of the F500 are now on Facebook, and 60% have a corporate Twitter account according to the UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research
- Facebook accounts for nearly 1 in 4 of online display ads in the US according to comScore
- Twitter added 100 million accounts, and Facebook added 250 million new users in 2010 (these and other cool stats here)
- Facebook simplified/loosened its rules for running promotions - you no longer need prior written approval or a minimum ad spend
Yet, while some brilliant social campaigns like Old Spice Man (see more of the best campaigns of 2010, and vote for your fave here) delivered the goods, how many more looked good on paper yet fell flat because of poor execution? And while vendors like Jive and Spiceworks (client) and even TripAdvisor show the incredible potential of business and specialty-consumer communities, many others are starved for traffic and even more have only started to tap the volumes of discussions - and potential contributors - on public social nets.
What is missing? Jeremiah Owyang has called 2011 the Year of Integration - and I agree that is part of it. He also talks about investing in scalable programs, which, along with tapping shared experiences and working 'with the grain of social channels,' has become one of the themes we've been promoting at Offerpop (see here and here).
Social media marketing is growing up. And it's about time. But beyond better integration and coordination, marketers and strategists need to focus on creating real business value in 2011. We already have a lot of the pieces in place, and some terrific resources to help guide the way, from oneforty.com in the Twitter sphere (Offerpop partner, who is re-orienting around social business), to the Community Roundtable - where I speak next week, to consultancies like Dachis Group and boutiques like Convertiv (Offerpop partner) who are reinventing the digital agency model and bridging the gap between the worlds of technology and media.
There are a lot of moving parts in play, yet as a marketer and observer of a lot of social media adventures over the past several years, I see a lot of value in going back to basics and starting with marketing (and campaigns) when considering how to best enable scalable, sustainable social business. And then looking at how to drive efficiency via repeatable campaigns and methods (and tools) so they become the foundation for programs, which can be broadened into overall social business initiatives. Yes, I'm arguing that marketing is the beachhead for social business. Or at least that it should be. If a picture is worth a thousand words, here's what this looks like:
If you're not buying it so far, my reasoning goes like this: isn't the real purpose of social marketing to have conversations, and listen and (hopefully) encourage your audience to engage and share your story? That's why a focus on shared experiences and finding your audience's passion is so important. And why launching campaigns that motivate your community to spread the word, and foster natural, self-sustaining Viral Loops needs to be front and center.
Furthermore, success - or failure - with social media starts not only with each interaction (just like CRM!), but with each and every campaign you run. A social business strategy is only as good as your execution. And while a lot of this execution is happening via individual interactions on social channels and communities, a lot more of it is and will happen in the campaigns brands, retailers and other companies are running on Facebook and Twitter and other public social networks.
As illustrated above, how you target, create, promote and monitor each campaign is essential. Along with how you integrate these campaigns into programs and the other parts of your overall marketing mix like email, mobile, advertising etc. At the same time, at scale, your social business efforts will (and must) have a growing number of touch points with e-commerce, social CRM and community efforts as well.
What do you think? Are you ensuring that your campaigns are hitting the mark and making marketing the center of your social business strategy?