Social media is not necessarily the most effective stand-alone channel for Internet marketers, especially from a conversion standpoint, but it is becoming an increasingly vital component of advertising in the modern economic landscape. Business leaders must ensure that they are not overlooking the opportunities contained within the social media realm, and are instead taking proactive steps to capitalize on the potential that is growing in this area.
Marketing expenditures continue to rise, and leaders in these departments stand to gain a significant advantage when taking highly targeted and well-informed approaches to new channel-related distributions. Although it got off to a slow start, Social Media Today reported that social media-related advertising expenditures will double within the next five years, outpacing almost every other segment of Internet advertising in terms of pure growth.
How to prepare and capitalize
The rules of the road are a bit different in social media marketing than other Internet advertising campaigns, as consumers are simply looking for different types of communications to be coming through these websites. Here are some of the considerations digital advertisers should keep in mind when building a social media marketing strategy for the next few years:
- Oversight: The worst thing that can happen in a social media marketing campaign is a complete blackout of involvement on a given channel. If customers are expecting to hear from the business and no communications are sent out, engagement will quickly decrease. Furthermore, inconsistent and poor management of these website accounts can lead to similar issues. As such, leaders must ensure that there are oversight frameworks in place to manage the overall strategy.
- Integration: One of the most beneficial aspects of social media is the ability to connect various other marketing pursuits into one holistic voice and appeal. When developing the initiative, marketers should be especially interested in the ways that they can integrate other advertising programs into the social media realm, working proactively to ensure consistency right from the start.
- Customer service: Although not entirely housed within the advertising realm, social media is a formidable weapon in terms of comprehensive brand management, including customer service. Advertising managers in businesses should be working closely with leaders in the customer service department to ensure that the programs are at least somewhat linked into a unified strategy.
- Measurement: As any executive can attest, the inability to show other stakeholders the value of investments will lead to dramatically slower procurement procedures and a less efficient overall strategy over time. Before getting started with social media activity, a measurement architecture should be established and deployed to keep a close eye on which types of actions are performing better than others.
Because social media marketing is still a relatively new arm of advertising, especially among smaller businesses, the landscape will likely continue to change rapidly in terms of best practices and opportunities. As such, marketing leaders must keep up with the progression and evolution of the market to remain relevant in all communications over time, rather than falling behind the pack in the next few years.