If you Google “is social media a fad” you will find experts that fall on both sides of the issue. However industry experts, in general, agree that social media is still one of the best tools for inbound marketing, it is not a fad, and not going away anytime soon.
A significant 92% of marketers said that social media was important to their businesses in a recent study by Social Media Examiner. This was up from their 2013 report in which 86% said it was important. What most marketers find is that social media as a whole is important – but the channels shift from “in vogue” to fad status depending on the audience.
Social media opportunities change over time. Some, like podcasting, are seeing a resurgence and others, like Google Plus seem to finally be gathering more users. Social media channels are not all equal. You need to find where your customers are and use those channels to express your content. Fads within social media are part of the ever changing platform for companies to make sure they are on the proper channels. Google Plus has only recently been viewed with more acceptance, in the recent past it was perceived to be more faddish than other channels. Pinterest is a perfect example of something that initially was a fad but as savvy marketers realized the opportunity by using this channel, they jumped on board, using the channel to showcase to their products.
Marketers use multiple channels to reach their audience. Some argue that it is too many channels to be effective, most marketers know – your customers are not all on one channel – they are usually on one or two and the message needs to be amplified on all channels that are relevant. Creating a cohesive brand representation and integrated social platform is the key to creating solid content and keeping it fresh. Social allows your brand to “manage the message”, and that is crucial to this form of advertising. Social media will be part of the overall marketing and communication package for a brand, and also art of the mission-critical business communication tool for all business objectives.
Interaction with your customers is also one of the key benefits of this form of marketing. Interaction you may not of had before, is now possible. A customer complains on twitter, reply in like channel, meaning reply on twitter. Recently I sent out a tweet about my disappointment in Dillards for a sign that was in their stores. They replied back immediately on twitter with an apology and something more interesting, they said someone else put the signs in the store. Now that makes me curious if it was someone that didn’t like Dillards, or if it was their competitor that posted the signs. What I do know is that they replied fast and succinctly. This ability was not available before social media – the total turn around time from my post to their post back was in minutes.
Twitter conversation below:
GeekyMarketer @Dillards – I expected more from you – who thought this was a good idea – http://t.co/8ypLqukDAY
Dillards @GeekyMarketer We apologize to all that were offended by this story. The sign was not placed there by an employee & has since been removed.
According to the author of the book Digital Leader – “The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years.” The truth is that we do not have a magic ball that will tell us what the future holds. While some channels may come in-and-out of popularity, this is why you hire good people to monitor your social efforts and to know when to change the message and the channel to meet growing needs. At this point in time social media is still ranking high with in-bound marketers and the future right now, and it looks promising for the continuation of this practice.
#socialmedia #socialchannels #twitter #roisocial