For the past few years the idea that social media is free has been dying a slow death. You don’t have to pay to create a Twitter or Facebook account and using your tech savvy son or daughter or even a college intern to manage them doesn’t add too much to your bottom line, but not managing your online reputation wisely can cost you plenty.
Having the wrong person or team creating your content, engaging in conversations, monitoring and managing those conversations can be very expensive. Too many companies have discovered that turning over their reputation to an intern results in bad social media strategy and that can cost thousands in lost opportunities.
Successful companies have discovered that creating and distributing content to attract new leads requires more than an intern it requires expert social media management.
The growth of social media for small and medium sized businesses has become daunting as huge brands spend billions marketing to fans and followers. While social media makes your content more accessible, consumers will be overwhelmed with the flood of articles, newsletters, blogs, and video pushed their way.
A recent survey from StrongView reported that 93% of surveyed marketers plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets focused on customer engagement in 2014. 46% responded that they plan to increase their social media spending for the year.
As content marketing on social media platforms increases, media buyers and strategist will need to allocate more marketing dollars to content promotion. Facebook Advertising will be a strong channel for content targeted to the right audience. According to a recent Advertising Age article, Facebook reports: "Content that is eligible to be shown in news feed is increasing at a faster rate than people's ability to consume it."
Facebook and the other social media platforms know that brands are willing to pay for their users and they are going to raise the cost for access.
Expect to see more giveaways and contests. Brands with more Facebook likes are going to see a lower cost for their ads because paid social ads will show greater social context. Because "likes" and followers will equate to lower ad costs, companies will be investing more money to attract a larger audience.
Companies that have failed to see the importance of social media will be left behind. Bigger budgets for social media and content marketing are needed to compete. But with larger budgets expect more pressure to deliver results. It will be important to report and analyze your efforts to find what does or doesn’t work. Having the right tools is essential.
Hubspot’s Social Inbox helps you find the right prospects, at the right time, maximizing opportunities for personalization of content. It allows you to see how each of your posts performed with your prospects and leads. You get micro-level data for every click, comment, retweet and favorite.
This kind of contextualized interaction not only leads to a more authentic social media experience, but also brings your company closer to sales opportunities.
You will need a social media strategy to increase your brand awareness, loyalty and influence. Do you have your social media, content generation, and content distribution strategies ready? Do you have the right tools?