According to a Marketo-sponsored report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, 40 percent of marketers plan to invest the majority of their marketing budget into social.
According to Elaine Feeny, CEO of social intelligence company Wayin, making a bigger investment in social is an effective use of marketing dollars. Feeny says social enables marketers to develop more targeted campaigns.
Instead of the old mass marketing model of casting a wide net, social enables marketers to identify people already interested in the products or services they’re offering.
“It’s more targeted, it’s more effective,” she says. “And it’s the way of the future.”
Even still, there are huge challenges with social marketing. One of those challenges, says Feeny, is identifying the most relevant data in real-time so they can deliver a personalized experience to consumers online.
People have little tolerance for generic advertising messages online. And Feeny says that the most informed marketers will be the most successful in the new media landscape. Marketers need to be able to quickly identify the five-Ws: Who, what, where, why, and when. This is the information that adds context to social data.
“Social data — any data — is meaningless, unless it’s put in context,” Feeny says, adding that it’s time for the next level of social marketing. “Today most marketers are doing activity tracking; listening for anybody that talks about their brand.”
But this is just the first level of social marketing. Feeny says there are three more levels to social marketing and it’s time for marketers to level up. The three levels she describes are:
Level No. 1: Identify influential and notable people talking about your brand.
Level No. 2: Identify key clients and make them a priority by responding quickly, with personalized messages.
Level No. 3: Identify the target audience, engage them with personalized messages, and build a community based on interests.
Despite the occasional misstep, Feeny says The Weather Channel does a great job of tracking anyone who posts about weather on social media. More important, they are able to quickly put the data into context and either feature the content on-screen or provide a relevant update in real-time.
This is at the heart of how the most successful marketers use social media. They understand that when the message is personal, consumers don’t see it as an ad. Instead, they’re grateful the brand took time to respond with such relevant and thoughtful information.
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