Tag Archives: future of social media

Fun with links: Social media predictions, business blogging, recession marketing and more

There’s just too much out there right now to write a post on just one, lonely topic. So, I decided to share five small snippets of the latest and greatest information for business to business marketing on the Web, and here it is:

  1. What does 2009 hold for the world of social media and content marketing? Nobody may know for sure, but many, 42 to be exact, have made their predictions. From getting cheap to a backlash against social media, read what the Junta42 Top 42 bloggers have to say about social media in 2009.
  2. Just because you build it, they won’t come. Social media has the potential to bring success to many businesses, but not every company is meant to blog. Read through the 5 musts of business blogging at Drew’s Marketing Minute to find out if blogging is a smart endeavor for your company.
  3. Are you on Twitter? Are you still trying to figure out why you’re there? Whether you’re there or not, people will be praising and complaining about your company with each other on Twitter. Learn how to engage with the Twitter community and win over the hearts of your audience in this post from TwiTip.
  4. Blog marketing could quite possibly be the cheapest form of marketing out there right now. With a blog, there’s no need for expensive print, radio or TV ads and the uncertainty of their effectiveness. Learn why blog marketing is cheap marketing and effective marketing in this recent post by Remarkablogger.
  5. We’re in a recession and things are changing, including how we get our products and services to market. Cutting marketing budgets during a recession may be the worst idea marketers can go through with when tough times hit. During a recession, learn how to market better instead of marketing less in this post from the Marketing Hive.

How social media fits into traditional buying cycles

If you’re having trouble tying social networking to a more traditional buying cycle, social media guru Chris Brogan wrote an ebook on how to make it possible.

Brogan wrote “Fishing Where the Fish Are: Mapping Social Media to the Buying Cycle” after failing to fit everything he wanted to say in a recent BtoB Magazine presentation. His relatively short ebook (21 pages) packs in tons of practical advice for any business still trying to apply social media tactics in the business cycle.

It’s a quick and easy read, with some great pictures, too. You can download a copy at his blog chrisbrogan.com.

Companies avoid social media despite benefits

Despite evidence that social media improves customer relationships and boosts sales, a   new global survey found that most senior executives have no plans to adopt social media as part of their marketing efforts.

Fear and apathy toward social media were noted as key obstacles to using social media, according to an independent survey by Avande.

According to survey findings:

  • More than 50% of respondents said senior executives and IT staff resist social media out of fear it will negatively impact employee productivity.
  • 60% believe management does not understand the potential benefits social media offers employees and customers.

Though resistance is high, top executives realize that social media technologies have the potential to transform the way companies build and manage relationships with their customers. Most companies have no formal plan to adopt and manage social media.

Early adopters of social media questioned in the survey revealed overwhelmingly positive results from using Web 2.0 tools. Of early adopters of social media:

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed saw improved customer satisfaction.
  • 64% reported an improved marketplace reputation.
  • 2 in 5 companies directly associate increased sales by using new forms of media.

Rather than waiting for the next crop of Generation Y employees to bring social media into the workplace, jump on the bandwagon before you’re left in its dust. Remember – social media is right, even if you think you’re doing it wrong.

Virtual trade shows: The next big thing?

With the rise of Second Life and Web 2.0, business is finding new and innovative ways to use the Internet. Virtual trade shows offer an opportunity for businesses to meet and share ideas on a completely new platform.

The benefits of virtual trade shows are obvious – no airline tickets to buy to attend the show, no annoying booths to set up, and no wasted hours spend waiting for people to approach your booth.

The goals of virtual trade shows and in-person shows are the same – to come away with quality sales leads, connect with potential business partners and bump into some key media organizations while you’re there.

Online trade shows have an added goal to minimize cost while delivering the same benefits as their offline counterparts. With tight budgets, the push to show a positive ROI is harder than ever.

Deciding which offline trade show to attend and then convincing business leaders in your organization to pay for it is a difficult process. Those at The Lonely Marketer ask the question: “Are Trade Shows a Waste of Time and Resources?”

In the post, the authors devised a metric to help capture the costs and benefits of attending a show. Comparing the metric of an online trade show to that of an offline show could paint a compelling picture that virtual events are the more cost-efficient option.

While face-to-face conversations are tough, connections at online trade shows can still be made. Online chats and emails can help you get the materials you want and connect with potential sales leads.

Virtual events and trade shows can attract an average of more than 1,500 people who spend longer than two hours in the show, according to a report by FactPoint Group. With those numbers, online conferences and trade shows seem to be a growing trend.

If you’re comfortable with working and communicating online, virtual trade shows may be a less costly and more efficient way to achieve the same goals you would face-to-face.

Expert predictions on the future of social media

Space colonies? Rocket-powered shoes? Robots doing the laundry?

Predicting the future is tough. Most of the time our ideas don’t pan out exactly how we expected, but luckily we have experts out there who can help us see into the future.

If you’ve ever wondered what the future of social media looks like, experts out there have already started their predictions. Those at Mashable, the social networking news blog, had a recent guest post sharing expert predictions into our social media future.

Jackie Peters, CVO and founding partner of Heavybag Media, recently attended the Executing Social Media conference where Peter Shankman, social media guru, gave a very energetic keynote on the future of social networking and how the social web is changing the way we do business and make money.

Some of Shankman’s social media predictions:

Information overload. Think you’re overloaded now? Just wait, soon there will be too many channels, tools and platforms for anyone to keep track of. The solution will be in the form of one tool that streamlines all of the information in order to successfully manage the information, automating the process for you. FriendFeed and Socialthing are two emerging tools on the market now.

Automated life tracking, life sharing and network building. Peters tells us to imagine a world where a business traveler can walk into an airport, their Bluetooth device signals their arrival and a ticket is printed and ready at the check-in desk.

The fall of reviewers and critics. With personal information so easy to access, people will be using recommendations and ideas from your trusted network rather than traditional reviewers or critics.

Citizen journalists rise. “One customer can do better than a million dollar spend on the Super Bowl.” Customer reviews hold more merit than anything a professional critic could write. We want to know what our friends think about a product or service before we give it a shot.

In the end, “the evolution of the web is more about how it is becoming integrated into our lives and less about the technology.”

Peters’ important side note – according to the movie Back to the Future 2, in 2010 it was predicted we would all have a fax machine in every room. Basically, don’t hold the predictions against us in the next few years if it turns out we weren’t so right.