Social Media Spend to Double This Year

The spirit of social media is enlivening industries, refreshing marketing, and humanizing businesses. While the steps to the social revolution are gradual, so are the budgets that fund innovation. Progress is underway however, and with every experiment and pilot program, we learn the answers to the questions that serve as the gateways to change.

Early experiments are sparked within various forward-looking divisions and funded by other resident or surrounding programs or departments. As social media permeates and socializes the frameworks of the modern businesses, finances and supporting resources will shift to advance expansion.

A recent study conducted by Duke University and the American Marketing Association documented the rise of hiring, budgets, and social media spend over next year.

According to the 2010 CMO Survey, on average, CMOs expect to increase marketing budgets by 5.9% citing social media as a crucial slice of the Internet marketing mix.

Brian Solis is a true thought leader, one of the few people who really do blog so that they can move the debate forward (I used to try to do this but don’t have time, so I just react to things now – sad, but true). This is one of his great posts, and while I do keep hearing about how social media is going to save the world – and, frankly, don’t believe it – he places it in perspective. That perspective is: social media, whether you like it or not, is growing in importance across the board. It fits the strategies of companies over the next year, and over the next five years. If you don’t believe me, read his post. Compelling stuff.

Social Media in the UK 2010

When I was forwarded this, at first I thought “Oh no, not another of those videos showing important social media because everyone is using it.” Which is how it starts off, with some dubious figures (for example, if one in four people writes a blog, how come I work in comms and I doubt one in ten people I know writes one?), but then does start to come up with some nice proof points. In particular it’s good for behaviours, for example that UK adults prefer using social networks to watching TV, or one in three agree with the statement “I could not live without the internet.” Gives a good impression of a medium that is becoming all-pervasive, a significant culture force, and one that is affecting not just how we interact, but how we behave.

The Knowledge » A teens-eye view of social media

Undoubtedly the use of mobile phones and computers is essential to today’s teenager, for me, the use of my mobile phone is important, teenagers want to socialise every day and having a mobile phone allows you to do this, whether you’re on the internet or simply just text messaging.

I worked with TechDept while at Fleishman-Hillard, and it’s nice to see that they’re also keeping an eye on social media. In particular I think it’s good that they’ve given their intern a chance to post. We all need to know what it’s like from the next generation’s perspective, and what better way than for them just to tell us?

Business Blog: separate domain or on your website @ Better Business Blogging

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to setting up a business blog, and certainly one which I have been asked on a number of occasions recently, is whether it is better to have a blog as part of your website or to set it up as a separate site on its own domain.

I would love to be able to give a brief one line response to this, however, I don’t believe that there is one which will fit all circumstances. So, true to recent form, I have to say that the answer to this will depend on a number of different factors, all of which can contribute to the final decision.

And what are these factors, I hear you ask. Well, the main ones I would look at are:

  • Branding requirements

  • Intended use of the Blog
  • Target Audience
  • Focus of Blog
  • Domain Name Selection
  • Search Engine / SEO Requirements
  • General Marketing Requirements
  • Mark White is the author of this post, and it looks like he’s been asked the question too. He’s been asked it many times: me, just the once. I answered it from the SEO perspective – that is, it would be better to have it on a separate domain because you then get more links coming *into* your site rather than within it. Then I considered the branding issue, which implies that it would be better to have it within the site. But he really considers it from all angles and I’d say he’s pretty much nailed it. If you’re thinking of setting up a blog, read this first. I guess that, at the end of the day, you can actually change your mind later on, but it’s always better to think about these things first.

    Wikisperience – LinkedIn meets Wikipedia?

    Wikisperience is dedicated to providing information about companies and organisations of all sizes. It was founded to serve the needs of businesses operating in, or aligned with, the global Internet, Communications and IT industries. Companies operating in other verticals are welcome to contribute information, but they will need to ensure their information and profiles clearly indicate which verticals they operate in. Typical users of Wikisperience information are likely to be your customers, prospects, partners, investors and media.

    This is quite an interesting idea – essentially creating a B2B directory using the wiki model, sort of LinkedIn meets Wikipedia. While I doubt it will replace either – or, indeed, a company’s own social media presences – it might provide companies with another outlet. Of course, as with so many of these initiatives, the million dollar question is, how are they going to make money out of it? There are banner ads, but that’s not the greatest model. Let’s see what happens here.

    MediaPost Publications The Fine Balance Between Automation And Personalization In Social Media 07/27/2010

    Surely, in the course of your social media work, you’ve experienced a certain moment of frustration. It may have been with a client or with your very own company, and, in your head, it would have sounded something like this: “Why aren’t we sharing all our YouTube videos on Facebook or on our website?

    In the training I’ve been giving recently, the question of time and resource has cropped up constantly. Automation is one way to address this, but you do need to be careful. Kaila Colbin outlines the issues neatly here.

    Social media training – learning through teaching

    I’ve been delivering some training courses with the nice people at London’s Social Media Academy recently, as well as doing quite a lot of work helping with restructuring their courses, documentation management and marketing copywriting.

    It’s all good, but the training has been particularly illuminating. Across all groups and courses, what I’ve found are:

    • People don’t have time or resource. This is a very common theme but when you hear it volunteered in the first five minutes of every course, you realise the extent of the problem. It’s as if people have just started getting the hang of marketing and communications, and now they’re being asked to learn it all over again. My job is to show that online really isn’t that different from offline, we just use different tools rather than techniques.But still, it hurts.
    • People are scared. Fear still seems the overriding emotion. I think this is mostly because people have bosses who know they must do something but they don’t know what, so they make someone ‘it’ who then has to take it all onboard. They also hear scare stories about people sending emails detailing what they did to their boyfriends the previous night which then spanned the globe over the next 24 hours – and that just doesn’t really happen. If it goes wrong, no one really points and laughs. You just learn from it, but because it’s fluid and digital, you can change things. Small steps, not big bites.
    • There are great case studies out there. It’s quite daunting being tasked with showing people how social media can work for financial PR or sales, but there are good, compelling case studies for pretty much everything out there. The sales course was particularly interesting, as we checked out how companies such as BT and Dell are making good money with tremendous ROI. I think case studies are the key to persuading people about how social media can work.

    And in every case I’ve impressed on the course delegates not to listen to geeks or evangelists.

    If I were a geek I wouldn’t try to tie everything to business objectives. Instead, I’d get excited about linking Twitter to LinkedIn updates or how many followers I had on Twitter. No. I try to make sure everyone’s aware that social media must tie into what you want to do with your business somehow. Awareness is good, but woolly. Increased sales leads, reduced cost per acquisition, more phone calls, more brochure downloads – that’s what you’re after. OK, perhaps I’m slightly geeky, but in a good way.

    And if I were an evangelist, I wouldn’t have left the social media space for a while last year. Because in truth, I really did think that 2009 would be the year the Emperor’s new clothes became apparent (or unapparent). I was wrong. In 2009, social media traffic totalled more than all previous years combined. All the curves are most definitely up. And while the tail-end of 2009 saw business dip, there is plenty of it around now. It’s nice for me, but I’m still prepared to be cynical as things pan out. It’s just that they’re not panning out that way.

    For me, I’ve learned that training can be fun. I used to teach English as a Foreign Language at Berlitz in Madrid and remembered how it all works. You get The Awkward Delegate, The Keen Delegate, The Quiet One, The Loud One, etc etc. Everything that applied to Spanish people in the mid-90s applies to English people in 2010. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

     

    The Importance of Storytelling in Marketing | Rocket Watcher Product Marketing for Startups

    via rocketwatcher.com

    My favourite bit from this: “Sometimes I think it’s because smaller companies are afraid that storytelling will come across as unprofessional or they don’t think the it’s appropriate to tell them in anything other than a face to face meeting.”

    Dead right. I find this too. I want companies to start creating their own stories but they insist on hiding behind what I term ‘corporate bollock-speak’. It convinces nobody.

    Again to quote this excellent post – “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

    Read it.

    Nathan @ e-gineer: Our Intranet, the Wiki: Case Study of a Wiki changing an Enterprise

    The adoption of JCintra has been remarkable. After only 3 months, 111 people had contributed more than 5,000 changes. After 12 months, we had 18,000 contributions from 184 people within the business.

    Most significantly, our contributions per month has continued to grow since launch. People are engaging and collaborating more with time, they are not losing steam as you might expect.

    To drive adoption, we’ve primarily focused on owning the flow of new information. Early on, we established a policy that all announcements must be on JCintra. When necessary, they may be sent via email in addition to posting as news on the Intranet. Today, announcements ranging from major restructures to new babies for employees flow through the news page without clogging up email inboxes.

    Owning the flow of news has established JCintra as a trusted source for the latest information. This translates into an expectation that the stocks of information (e.g. policies) will be available and up to date. Own the flow and the stock will come.

    Business information that was previously scattered in email (e.g. Business Planning presentations) is now collected into a permanent, secure online space. We have a growing reference and history of information to build on and make available to newcomers. Knowledge management, previously a big concern, has moved off the agenda for the time being.

    This is a very nice encapsulation of how to port across from a tired old intranet to something active and engaging. Social media for internal comms? Absolutely.