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Marketers Using Social Media: Do they Get it or are they Panicking?


Posted by on December 31, 2008

panic-button

In a recent study conducted by Junta 42, marketers said that they are going to be directing a good portion of their budgets towards content marketing and social media (other than blogs).  There are several ways to interpret the flow of money to content marketing and social media:  either more companies are “getting it” or companies are scared and panicking and think that social media is going to save them.  Remember economic times are tough and there is a lot of desperation out there.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that we are going to see more companies shifting money into content marketing and social media, but I think we should be cautious and responsible.  We’re all familiar with the “bubble” and the last thing I want to see is everyone turning to social media as a result of panicking and fear of uncertainty; this can be dangerous for the company and for the industry.

This is a graph from the Junta 42 study which shows what marketers believe to be the most important tactics for 2009.  I believe these responses were all focused around content marketing but I also want to add that I think SEO is going to be another vital tactic for 2009 and understanding the symbiosis and integration  between SEO and social media is going to be huge (I like to think I understand this).  A larger image can be found on the Junta 42 site.

2009 content marketing and social media

As social media strategists and consultants it is going to be our job to manage expectations and results with clients.  As with any other successful client engagement it’s always crucial to start with a clear understanding of what to expect and what it would take to get there.  Managing expectations is going to be one of the most important things that a consultant is going to have to do (and should be doing now).

When we see a trend towards social media and content marketing we also see a lot consultants come out of the woodwork.  This happened with SEO and is still going on today.  Everyone is pitching themselves as an SEO consultant nowadays and a lot of people are getting burned, we have a term for this and it’s called “snake oil.”  This trend is also going on with social media, 18 year old kids are claiming that they are social media experts and pretty much anyone with a  facebook account and a twitter profile is claiming to be a social media consultant.

It’s important for everyone to realize that being a social media strategist or consultant is more than understanding how tools work.  Social media strategy is about understanding how to use social media to achieve business goals and objectives.  I will write another post in the near future about what I think makes up a good social media strategist/consultant but let’s leave it at this for now.

Next year is going to be exciting for the social media space but it’s also going to be a cautions and perhaps dangerous time, especially if we are going to see the social media space blow up with consultants (like the SEO industry did).  I think 2009 is going to see a lot of collaboration and partnership on the social media side, we all have a lot more to learn from each other and from our experiences with social media.

Thanks for reading!

what do you think social media will look like in 2009?  Do you see flow of money to content marketing and social media as a sign that companies are “getting” social media or that they are panicking?

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  • http://nickyjameson.com Nicky Jameson

    “Social media strategy is about understanding how to use social media to achieve business goals and objectives.”

    Yes. Prior to that it's understanding the exact nature of the strategic challenges and pressures businesses face, as well as their top business priorities, the impact to the bottom line and only then assessing if a social media strategy is appropriate and being able to make a business case for it.

    Not all business goals or objectives can be solved with Social Media. Sometimes the company culture is a barrier. On SM for 2009, it depends on the company. If you mean large ones, then I'm not so sure it's more than a “panic and quick fix”. Many SM strategists have been advocating Social Media, however few have linked it to corporate business problems and most have talked about tools.

    If you mean smaller companies then I think the landscape may be more optimistic. They may not have as deep pockets but according to Warrillow research more than 50% of them are already using Social networks.

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    It’s important for everyone to realize that being a social media strategist or consultant is more than understanding how tools work.

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    Social media is more and more important now.