We may argue about the effectiveness of social media presence/campaigns for business promotion and sales generation, but one thing that no one seems to doubt is that it is one of the hottest topics in present-day marketing. Whether fueled by a global hype or not, but Google Instant keeps popping suggestions on social media marketing even when I’m not looking for things related to it at all… Google prides itself with its prediction technology which helps it “predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing” [more here]. Well, here’s what I get:
1. When we type in “social”, “social network” is among the top 5 suggestions:
2. Type in “why marketer” and you get:
3. When you start with “how do marketer” Google Instant suggests:
4. If you type in “can you market”, the social medial outlets are even more prevalent:
5. And, finally, should you wonder about “effective marketing”, the suggestions go as follows:
Wow… You can believe in social media marketing or not, but clearly there’s no way to ignore it…
It is interesting to see where Gartner places social media developments in its annual “Hype Cycle” report of emerging technologies:
According to the above curve, out of social media technologies:
- Social analytics is on the rise. Gartner says “the value resides in applying” predictive analytics techniques “in new applications such as social analytics and sentiment analysis”.
- Microblogging (which predominantly happens on Twitter) is 2 to 5 years, and it’s on the bottom of the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”.
- Corporate blogging, social software suites, and wikis which were scored in the previous Hype Cycle report are no longer there, but should be in Gartner’s “Slope of Enlightenment” now.
I’m split on the subject of social media marketing effectiveness (I could certainly use more analytics data). I do understand how
when properly handled social media efforts increase engagement with brands (personal or corporate) and facilitate loyalty growing “fans”; but I, personally, do not know of one marketer who could confidently compare the sales effect of social media efforts to, say, search engine-based paid search, SEO, or affiliate programs. But then again: shouldn’t we distinguish between the types of social media efforts? Blogging isn’t the same as microblogging (aka “tweeting”), and even within Facebook — a PPC campaign is very different from interaction with consumers via a “fan” page.
What do you think? What has been your experience? Does social media marketing work for you? The comments are all yours.