Will social media boom in a bust economy?

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Information about Will social media boom in a bust economy?

Published on February 18, 2009

Author: Griner



With marketing budgets being slashed and remaining funds shifting online, how can businesses make the most of social media?

First, the bad news.

According to a recent study by ! the Association of National Advertisers: 77% of marketers are reducing their advertising budgets Source: (Feb. 10, 2009)

Where are the cuts? o  Departmental travel and expenses (87%) o  Ad campaign media budgets (77%) o  Ad campaign production (72%) o  Agency costs and expenses (68%) o  New project launches (58%)

The real bad news?

Those who stop advertising: o  Lose money, especially in the long term o  See a 20-30% drop in sales over 2 years o  Rebound slower after the recession Source: “Marketing in a Recession: 10 Things to Remember,” Adweek, Feb. 2, 2009

“This is not the time to cut advertising. It is well documented that brands ! that increase advertising during a recession ! can improve market share at lower cost than during good economic times.”
 — Professor John A. Quelch Harvard Business School

The moral? Social media is not ! a replacement ! for paid advertising. 

Ready for some quot; good news?

“Tight budgets will ! prod businesses to do ! what all the preaching and prodding won’t.” — Lisa Hoffmann,

75% of marketing executives predict advertisers will move more than a quarter of media time and spending away from traditional channels over 5 years.

Where’s the money going?

A recent survey of marketers’ quot; priorities for 2009 included: o  Social media (68%) o  E-mail marketing (60%) o  Blogs (56%) o  Online video (51%) o  Microsites (43%) Source: Junta42 e-mail survey, December 2009

So what is social media? Social media is any tool that lets you share information and network with others.

So what is social media? • Blogging • Chat Rooms • Micro-blogging • Podcasts • Social networks • Virtual worlds • Video sharing • Wikis • Photo sharing • Applications

How are marketers using social media?

Social marketing is a mix of: o  Public relations o  Advertising o  Content strategy o  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) o  Web development

One approach: Encourage the conversation

In just five weeks, Little Debbie’s ! 100 Calorie Snack outreach sparked: o  98 posts on 71 blogs o  More than 5,000 reader comments o  830 new followers on Twitter

HP’s “31 Days of the Dragon” o  Gave laptops to 31 bloggers o  Laptops then given away to readers o  84% increase in HDX Dragon sales o  10% increase in overall PC sales Source: The Viral Garden, Sept. 29, 2008

Another approach: Join the conversation

Who’s on Twitter? o  Starbucks o  Ford o  Whole Foods o  Southwest o  GM o  Dunkin Donuts o  Dell o  Honda o  Kodak o  Zappos o  Comcast o  Red Cross o  Little Debbie o  H&R Block o  Rubbermaid o  Hertz o  Home Depot o  Nationwide

In December 2008, quot; Dell estimated it had made quot; $1 million in sales thanks to Twitter.

Twitter helps companies be: o  Proactive with customer service o  Efficient with their PR o  Useful to their customers

And yes, Blogging is still important. Perhaps more than ever.

A corporate blog offers you: o  A hub for all your social efforts o  A place to explain your side of the story o  An incredibly stronger search presence o  An open forum with your customers

Yet another approach: Start the conversation

4 million views on YouTube

7 million views, multiple remixes on YouTube

Saying you want to create a ! viral video! is like saying you want to write a best-selling book

A successful ‘viral’ needs: Something totally new o  Lots of money and time o  Lots of guts o  Lots of luck o  A strong distribution plan o 

What else is out there? o  Facebook pages, apps and causes o  Branded apps for iPhones, Android, etc. o  Alternate reality games o  Interactive online video o  Oh, and blogging. That’s still important.

Who should be doing quot; social media for companies?

Consultants? Pros: o  Short-term commitment o  Usually focused on training Cons: o  Little accountability o  Can have a cookie-cutter approach o  Often overstate experience

PR agencies? Pros: o  Long experience with outreach, ! crisis management and conversation-starting Cons: o  Still addicted to press releases o  Larger agencies too bureaucratic o  Don’t empower clients to get involved

Buzz agencies? Pros: o  Savvy with new media and metrics o  Hungry for work, clients and case studies Cons: o  Little accountability and track record o  Often repackage same tools o  Limited resources for bigger projects

Internal PR staff? Pros: o  Close understanding of the corporate culture o  Access to many parts of the company Cons: o  Close understanding of the corporate culture o  Few resources for design and development

Ad agencies? Pros: o  Good design, interactive and writing skills o  Understand complementary role of paid media Cons: o  Too often think of social media in terms of campaigns or publicity stunts, not long-term communication

There’s no right answer, except to find a partner you trust. And then get out there and do some incredible things.

Thanks for your time.

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