What can a business say about social media? Some consider social media a tool with tremendous opportunity to reach consumers, while others are not even sure how to approach social media strategy. Regardless, businesses agree that social media is as much of a mystery as it is a necessity. There is no specific algorithm to being successful, and there is no post guaranteed to keep a brand relevant. Success varies with content generated and shared, but is highly dependent upon reactions and engagement from consumers.
According to Fortune, within the next five years businesses are projected to allocate upwards of 25% of a marketing budget to social media strategy and content generation. Currently, about 9% of budgets are dedicated to social media. The trick, both for the present and the future, is finding where these dollars are making a difference. Upon evaluation, many company marketers struggle to see and articulate where their social media dollars made an impact.
That is not to say their efforts failed. The results, or lack thereof, are interpreted as reflections of how quickly social media progresses. To an extent, social media changes hour-by-hour, and it becomes the challenge of the company to match speed. So, all this being said, how do businesses stand to work with, rather than struggle against, the breakneck speed of social media as it changes in 2015?
1) Focus on optimization – Social media is not just a constant output of new information, it’s about the value of information and the ability to retain consumer attention and loyalty. Rather than spending money on continually producing new campaigns, companies are looking to using metrics, which allows for efficient analysis of social media efforts. Sites like VidYard, SocialRank Index, Google Analytics, and Nimble monitor the impact of social media over the course of time, as well as offer comparisons to competition.
2) Focus on personalization – Catering to the specific needs of consumers is paramount to utilizing social media in 2015, as targeting audiences through larger traditional media, such as TV, is no longer an efficient use of resources. Ads specific to consumers’ personal search history or purchase habits already pop up on popular social media, like Facebook, but the new wave of strategy deals with personalization across devices. New advertising and social media obstacles include transferring advertisements from tablet to computer, as well as effectively using real time customer data to make the sale.
3) Focus on mobile compatibility – Once considered the second stage of advertising, mobile as a platform is predicted to come into its own in 2015. It is no secret that society is moving to mobile, with people on or using their phone almost every hour of the day. What does that mean for advertising? Independent strategies for independent devices, each with their own unique merit. Easy-to-navigate interfaces and interactive content will define who stands out in the mobile realm.
While strategies may differ, there is no mistaking the domination of social media as a main component in marketing for the year ahead. With the ability to reach an almost unlimited number of people, the flexibility to execute multimedia campaigns, and the capacity to be analyzed for effectiveness, social media remains a rapidly growing powerhouse in business strategy.