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2011: Social Media and Budgets

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Social Media PlatformsMarketing departments across all sectors are gearing up for 2011.  This means brainstorming new ideas, strategizing marketing and communications initiatives and allocating the right resources to meet budgets.  However, many marketers are unsure where social media falls into this scheme.  It’s not that they don’t want ‘to do’ social media, but they have no idea how much to budget – or no good way to tabulate it.  In her recent AdAge article, How Much Will You Spend on Social-Media Marketing Next Year?, Debra Aho Williamson principal analyst of eMarketer identifies three reasons why there is budgeting confusing with social media.

1. Too many cooks”

Marketers are still figuring out their social media strategies and utilizing all resources to make it successful.  As a result, they are using multiple resources – both internal and external – to create Facebook pages, manage Twitter feeds, develop viral videos and measure ROI / impact.  Businesses are torn over whether the best strategy is to manage social media through their corporate communications group, marketing department or a separate social-media group. Adding complexity to the situation, marketers are inundated with pitches from ad agencies, PR agencies and social-media vendors – all looking for new projects for 2011.

2. Social media is free

Some businesses believe that social media is free – or nearly free.  Although earned media is indeed free publicity, there is almost always a cost associated with it, whether it is staffing, creative development or monitoring the results.

3. There are few benchmarks

Marketers don’t agree on how much of their marketing budgets they should spend on social media.  Surveys indicate that marketers spend 4% to 11% of their online marketing budgets on social media.  This wide range indicates the fact that social media marketing budgets are spread across multiple departments and groups, and that some types of companies and industries are more advanced than others.

Marketing Budget

Williamson recommends taking a holistic approach, and incorporating social media into the marketing planning from the start.  General Motors, for instance, is incorporating 2011 budgets for social media from the brand marketing groups.  This will help GM do a better job of aligning its social strategy with the rest of its marketing strategy.

Bottom line?  Marketers should worry less about how much they are spending on social media, or whether there should be a separate budget, and more about whether those dollars are working as hard as they can, producing real, quantifiable results.

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Should You Accept that Facebook Invitation?

December 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Accept or not to accept your parents’ Facebook request, that is the question.  Mashable posted a pretty humorous flowchart by Mike Newman of Cool Material that takes the reader through a series of yes and no questions as to whether you should ‘friend’  your parents or not.

A May 2010 survey by Retrevo found that nearly half (48%) of the parents out in Facebook universe are ‘friends’ with their children on the social networking website.  Andrew Eisner director of content at Retrevo says, “It looks like more parents with teenage children are more likely to be friends with their kids, although many admit it can be awkward at times but they say they do learn a lot about their teenagers, which is probably why children are so hesitant to ‘friend’ their parents to begin with.”

Still hesitant to accept that request?  Check out Mike’s flowchart below to see if you should ‘friend’ mom and dad.   

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Surprising Facts About Social Media

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I always find intriguing articles in PR Daily Newsfeed, and this one caught my eye— 50 Surprising Facts About Social Media.  As one can imagine, a lot of the facts were based on statistics and the growth of social media, but a few were particularity interesting to me.  The author of this article dove in and examined the top 5 social networks: TwitterFacebookLinkedInYouTube and RSS.  Below are my favorite facts from this article.  What are your favorite SM facts?  Do you know any surprising ones that aren’t listed in the article?

1.       Twitter has donated access to all of its tweets to the Library of Congress for research and preservation.

2.       Corporate blogging accounts for 14% of blogs.

3.       Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn.

4.       The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.

5.       YouTube uses the same amount of bandwidth as the entire Internet used in 2000.

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