Thursday, December 29, 2011

Companies Still Trying To Integrate Social Media

It is not too late to start integrating social media into your company marketing plan. In fact, it's never too late to try something new, even if you believe the trend has already passed.

The fact is, it's not the tools you use, but the way you use them that matters the most. Social media is a great example of this. While many companies have adopted social media marketing as a tool for promoting their brand, their product or themselves, not everyone knows how best to do this so they get the best results.

InSites Consulting, in collaboration with Survey Sampling International, recently released a study that surveyed 400 senior marketers—200 from Britain, 200 from America—to assess what companies are doing to make the most of the consumers' adoption of social as a way to interact with each other, as well as with brands. While over 50 percent of respondents say that their organizations have a presence in various social networks, four in 10 of these senior marketers admit that their company has not engaged in, or has only just begun to integrate their social media efforts with existing marketing and service tactics.

It seems evident from this survey, and the number of dormant social media profiles I see on a daily basis, that not everyone truly understands the nature of social media. If they don't understand the nature of social media they likely don't understand how to use it.

Social media is all about building relationships. That means it requires regular interaction; conversations; sharing news and information that is interesting to the people you want to build relationships with.

Social media marketing should be thought of as a direct response tool. It is more likely to benefit you if you think it more as a tool to increase brand awareness. Not everyone has need of your product or services every minute of the day. Therefore, repeatedly posting links to your web site will not work. However, by increasing your brand awareness, keeping your brand fresh in the minds of as many people as possible as often as possible, when they do need a product or service you offer they are much more likely to think of you.

Integrating social media into your existing marketing plan then becomes one more focused on sharing information and gathering an audience. It does not, and can not, replace traditional marketing efforts, but should instead be used to compliment those efforts. It can also be used to judge the effectiveness of those efforts; the quality of your brand and the ability of your company to mobilize resources.

If you fully understand how social media can and does work you are much more likely to reap the benefits an effectively managed social media marketing campaign can bring.

Click here to read more about social media integration at 1to1 Media.

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