This week the Memphis Business Journal posted a story about why Memphis is getting tired of Social Media. The annual survey (conducted by a Memphis-based PR firm and a Memphis- based research firm) results will be released soon according to a recent tweet.
I don’t need to do research or conduct a study to know when to allocate resources to hire a social media manager to meet client demand. Our firm has seen tremendous growth this past year in the digital space and we don’t think it’s going away. Statistics show upward trends in Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in users and usage in the last quarterly earnings announcement. Twitter was up dramatically, in fact. New platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are growing dramatically. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that the use of social media is in decline. If “Memphis is getting tired of social media…” then we are moving backwards!
Recently, I had the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at the DFW Rocks Social Media Day conference in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas on June 30th, or social media day as declared by Mashable in 2010. The entire conference was focused on how businesses are using social media–and the growth of social media in the B2B (business to business) space. Memphis, if we are getting lazy in the digital space, we’d better wake up and smell the coffee or the world is going to kick our proverbial business butt.
Here are some compelling facts that I think are important when considering how social media is being used and measured. Some of these topics I took away from the experts at the DFW Rocks conference and many of the SEO points were made by @ShellyKramer.
1. Businesses across the board have increased their budgets for social media integration across business platforms. In fact, according to a recent guest post on the Mark Schaefer Grow Blog, “digital is the only media channel predicted to grow in the next 3 years, CEO’s are more involved in digital efforts than ever before and their enterprises are now investing enough to meet their overall digital goals.” Click here to read the full guest blog post by Rob Petersen
2. Brands know that content is to be built to show and grow in a very public way. “2014 will be the year of short form sound, sight and motion…gifs, vine and Instagram videos will deliver greater viewership and higher engagement than long-form. Agencies will compete over who can tell the shortest stories with the biggest impact. Consumers will be charmed as their attention spans continue to deteriorate.”–Julie Fleischer, Director, Media & Consumer Engagement, Kraft Foods (slide from the Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX conference)
3. SEO truth and changes by Google: There is no “page 1” of Google anymore. Google’s changes daily mean you cannot have good SEO results without good content–original, good content. See a recent article in Forbes on The Top 7 SEO Trends Dominating 2014 and a blog post on the Necessity of an Active Blog for a Successful SEO Initiatives, both articles supporting the importance of fresh content and other trends for improving SEO results.
4. Top most effective, measurable things of “high growth companies:” Focus on data (measure), email marketing, creating more content, blogging and integration across social media channels. This supports my belief (and what I tell clients) that social media doesn’t replace traditional marketing but it is a massive enhancer.
5. Data comes largely from online and social media. Questions brands are now asking about what their data shows:
-How many web visits per day/week/month?
-What % of traffic is unique vs. return?
-What keywords actually bring them to your site?
-What content brings them to your site?
-What are they doing there?
-What sites refer them to your site? (Much traffic comes from the social sites)
-What do they talk about online and in social about your product, service, niche, etc?
6. How businesses are tracking success:
-Measure most popular Twitter content
-Measure most popular blog content
-LinkedIn adopters (groups, opportunities, RFQ’s, sales)
-Opt-ins, downloads, contact form submissions
-Results of landing page campaigns, email campaigns
-Blog, email and newsletter content can lead to opportunities, but you must track this activity
7. Companies are using social media and are now asking questions based on tracking results. The results are driving better (shorter) content, more pictures and use of video, measurement tactics and tracking, training, and allocation of resources for hiring outside strategists.
8. Facts and data should drive the strategy. I work with clients on developing strategies based on data- what works, what doesn’t. Without factual information, you cannot expect to develop a compelling social media or digital plan. Social media is not a tool that you use without knowing what you expect to achieve (for more on this, visit my previous blog posts).
9. You cannot watch TV anymore and not hear “tweet to me” or “hit us up on Facebook” as the mainstream media is integrating all shows with social media tools.
So if Memphis is tired of social media, here’s what I say: get on board because it is not going away and Google is driving the ship. If you are a business owner and you don’t know how to do social media the strategic way, find someone who can help you. Because guess what, it’s a shark world we live in and the fittest survive. That means those who successfully integrate social media across the board are the ones with all the buzz, and the opportunities. And if you don’t believe me, travel outside of the 901 and visit a conference in Texas or NYC. You will learn a lot! Thanks for reading this and I’d love to hear your comments.