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Social Media soon set to become the number one marketing tool!

When social media first exploded on the scene it was met by an initial skepticism from the marketing sector. This was hugely due to the complete tactical U-turn needed for an online marketing campaign to succeed on social networks. An industry that was so set in its ways now had a new toy to play with, but didn’t know what to do with.

With 2010 fast approaching a recent survey of 2000 marketers by the Center for Media Research looked at the most popular mediums used. It found that while email is still the most popular, social networks look set to soon overtake it.

• Email (56.8%)

• Social networks (56.3%)

• Keyword search (49.7%)

• Radio (42.2%)

• Magazines (42.1%)

• Online display (40.5%)

• Event sponsorship (36.9%)

• Rich media display (35.5%)

• Direct mail (34.7%)

• Regional TV (32.8%)

• Regional newspapers (31.7%)

• Out-of-home (31.2%)

• Email sponsorship (29.5%)

• Online video (26.7%)

• Mobile SMS text (26.1%)

• National TV (18.2%)

• National newspapers (14.8%)

After giving social media the initial cold shoulder, things have now started to thaw a little with more marketers than ever realizing how truly beneficial it can be. Businesses are abandoning traditional marketing platforms in favor of creating their own original content that can be distributed online. This is due to the realization that people are blind to promotional items such as banner ads and are more interested in the ‘interactive web’. The ability to use new media channels to reach audiences directly with branded content and to measure the value of their response and interaction is a much more effective way of operating.

Social media marketing is not difficult at all. It is something everyone can do with some effort and knowledge. It isn’t some secret art form that only experts can master. Unlike other skills, social media has a remarkably low barrier of entry. Everyone is invited to the party.

One of the major issues raised about social media marketing is the lack of ROI. This is due to the fact that while many companies are engaging, most are not utilizing it correctly. Marketers need to make much better use of the technology at hand in order to mature their online capabilities and take best advantage of the cost efficiencies and direct customer relationships that online networks allow. They need to realize that the ‘old’ offline rules no longer apply. People don’t like to be marketed at; they prefer to be engaged with.

To be successful with a campaign you need a strategy! You need to familiarize yourself with the area by researching the do’s and don’ts associated to online marketing and follow them. Try to have a centralized approach where you set out exactly what areas you want to branch into and what exactly you want in return. Without having specific goals you’re never going to reach your target.

Are you engaging with social media marketing? Are you optimistic for 2010?

Donagh Mc Sweeney is a social media enthusiast and commentator. He is knowledgeable in a vast variety of fields in the IT industry and holds a BSC in Computer Science. Donagh has been actively involved in the social media world for nearly 6 years and has been present to watch the this evolution of the internet. He's also author of his own blog,, which covers topics dealing with social media, IT technologies and business. A true and true Kerryman, Donagh has been based in Cork City for the last 4 years. His interests include a big fascination with social media and technology. He spends his free time pursuing one of his many interests, which include sports such as rugby and darts as well as having more than a passing interest in Poker. He also enjoys tinkering with gadgets and hardware.

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  • Virginia

    I agree, social media marketing is an easy and cheap way to promote your company but it is important to be focused and follow a well-defined strategy otherwise you may end up generating a bad image of your own business. Know who you want to approach, how, when and why. And yes, be optimistic!

  • Although the use of business social media is a growing trend globally and it has noted by Gartner Group as number 6 in its top 10 strategic technologies for 2010, its still worth noting that only slightly more than 50% of the Fortune 100 companies use Twitter and only 30 percent of them use a blog.

    I’m not sure if corresponding figures for Irish companies are available, however its probably safe to say that it may be some time before social media marketing reaches the majority of the Irish market, so I guess that traditional marketing methods will continue to dominate for now.

    Companies and customers need to adopt social media tools before you can engage them, using it. and smaller companies are more likely to adopt them earlier than larger companies.

    Also, everyone has a postbox, a TV, can read printed material, and large majority have an email address, however social media marketing’s impact will be constrained until Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media applications are regularly used by a high percentage of the population. This will happen, in time but not overnight.

  • Anonymous

    Donagh, it is interesting that marketers place such high emphasis on the role of social networks and social media in the marketing mix. Gartner’s recent Hype Cycle Report suggests that technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations during 2009 include cloud computing, e-books (such as from Amazon and Sony) and Internet TV (for example, Hulu), while social software and microblogging sites (such as Twitter) have tipped over the peak and will soon experience disillusionment among enterprise users,” said Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner Fellow, and co-author of the book “Mastering the Hype Cycle” (published by Harvard Business Press).

    Click here to obtain a copy of the report:

    Perhaps it is that marketers are ahead of the curve and everybody else has yet to catch up.

    Una Coleman
    t: unacoleman

  • John, The key point here is that successful sales organisations realise the value in taking a step back and analysing there overall sales strategy – if it’s not working, fix it.

    There are a number of sales organisations however who employ a more head in the sand approach, there solution is to do more activity – more of the same equals a different result??

  • Anonymous

    Hi Niall, as you say more of the same won’t work. As we know all to well buyers have changed the way they buy so the old ways of selling will be ineffective. We all need to put ourselves in the buyer’s shoes.

    I have come across a pretty large sales team over the past few days with lots of activity, it’s not very effective so the challenge is as you say to step back and refocus efforts. In this case the fact that activity is high is better than no activity at all.

    All the best

  • Hi Donagh, very interesting post. Do you have a link to the research by Center for Media Research that you refer to.

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