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4 Keys To Your Future Social Media Marketing Strategy

In a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Facebook 76% of marketers reported that they view Facebook as critical for brand building. If the services of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are critical for online marketing strategies, the problem is that each of these services can change their price structures or terms of service.

There is no long term guarantee that brands can continue to use their services for free or in the ways they prefer, and this means that marketers will need to consider what the future of social media marketing could look like.

Social Media Marketing Will Be Marketing

Just as online merchandising is no longer called “E-business,” social media marketing  will soon be known simply as marketing, fully integrating the social aspect of a marketing strategy into a business’s long term marketing plan. David Meerman Scott of HubSpot argues, “The sooner people realize that what we are talking about is marketing and communications; that what we are talking about is reaching people in the ways that they want to be reached, using these sorts of networks that they are already on, then the faster they can become successful at using those new tools.”

Marketing teams who want to plan for the future will need to develop cohesive marketing plans that fully integrate social networking into their plans.

Social Media Marketing Will Predict Trends

Future marketing strategies will need to take into the account the large amounts of reliable data they can use to quickly jump onto a trend. It won’t be good enough to pick up on the trend of today. The data now available from some services can help marketing firms capitalize on the trends of tomorrow, but they will need to plan on paying for it.

Services such as bitly offer Enterprise accounts that allow marketers to track trends associated with trends across a variety of platforms. The bitly blog notes, “Unlike other search technologies, which weight results by the quantity of references or links, bitly search weights results by cross-platform social engagement. Collaborative filtering (the wisdom of crowds) is an obvious value of social media, and real-time search is an obvious way to package that value.”

Social Media Marketing Is Not Free

Some social media sites are charging companies for inbound links to their websites, and the terms of these agreements could prove not only costly but disruptive. According to Kipp Bodnar at HubSpot, “Pinterest is making money off organic interactions on its site, and some marketers can only opt out of paying for it if they cancel their entire affiliate marketing program.”  In the case of Pinterest, companies use a service known as skimlinks to create affiliate links on Pinterest images.

A service such as Skimlinks goes beyond just providing inbound links on a site like Pinterest. It also provides the data that marketers crave. The CEO of skimlinks writes,“The insights that can be gleaned by running Skimlinks have helped thousands of our publishers understand their customer base more, understand their shopping preferences, purchase behaviours, all without infringing on their privacy or interrupting their browsing experience.” In other words, while social media began as a low-cost marketing strategy, there will be more costs in order to derive the valuable data that is generated in the process.

The Only Marketing Platform You Control Is Your Own

While social media sites will continue to be critical hubs for online engagement with customers, a brand’s website and blog will continue to be critically important platforms for building relationships with customers and encouraging brand engagement. However Facebook or Pinterest modifies their policies or costs, the one marketing platform that you can always adapt to your current marketing needs is your own.Kipp Bodnar of HubSpot writes, “The handful of successful social platforms that attract a critical mass of users that business [sic] want to reach have the leverage to make more aggressive monetization changes. The fact is, with the higher costs involved with offline marketing, social networks can make significant changes without pushing businesses away from the platform.” Besides budgeting for these inevitable price shifts, marketers need to invest in a better website that acts as a home base for their online marketing.

Shifts in social media will take place each year as new social media platforms emerge and the existing leaders adopt new monetization strategies. If current social media trends are any indicator, your future marketing plans will need to be well-funded, nimble, and connected to an engaging website that you control.

Written By

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a css company, and who also consults for a company that offers a to do list application for businesses and individuals.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Mark

    April 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Social Media seems to be free, yes for users. But for marketers and people who wants SEO to their site definitely not. The agreement between us and the social media sites is very important make sure that it is on good terms.

  2. Adhriene

    April 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Social media marketing strategy is really important and we are all aware with it, especially the bloggers…Sometimes, we can look for ways to make it easier for us…

  3. Maja

    April 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Social Media facility if free but to limited extent. To make a product viral paid services are fruitful.

  4. Alex

    April 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    As for me Social Media is a goldmine for bloggers. Facebook, Tweeter, Tribberr, Pinterest, Google + all these platforms can be used for one and the same purpose to attract our target auditory and to share some news updates with them. And of course Google uses these links as a ranking signal. If the product is already popular social media is free but if our product is new and we need some promotion it is not.

  5. Nishadha

    April 4, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Social media marketing wont be free because it takes software, time and resources to track them. Also it is important that you give the social media marketing responsibilities to someone with a marketing background, instead of someone with a computer background.

  6. Bran

    April 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Social media marketing is important part of internet marketing which easily effects on website. Here, given some strategies of SMM effects easily on website. It is true that social media marketing requires paying for more backlinks but it is possible to get some incoming links through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter without any cost.

  7. Wyatt

    April 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Useful post. But I have never done social media till now. Can you share some Social media marketing sites?

    Thanks,
    Wyatt

  8. Philppe

    April 4, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Hey this was really interesting article with complete information. It has been seen that social media marketing is a strategy that helps you build a network of customers and potential customers, stay in touch with those who are interested in your products and services, and ultimately build your bottom line in the form of additional sales. Keep sharing such more.

  9. Julie

    April 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I am afraid that your projections could be true and in the near future Facebook won’t be free anymore for the brands. I understand that this is a necessary evolution but from my view these aren’t good news.

  10. trung tran

    April 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    This is one of the best articles I have read on combining social networks with branding. Unfortunately I was a little late getting into the social networking game but now I am seriously exploring the best combination of social sites to use for individual products. I think maybe an 8th point on your list could be selecting the right combination of social networks to achieve your desired outcome.

  11. Wayne B

    April 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I use SEO, facebook and twitter to a lesser extent to market both my blogs. I try to stay away from paid marketing/advertising for now, ONLY if it’s VERRRY necessary 🙂

    I’m starting to get a “feel” of pinterest too, although this skimlinks thingy got me wondering if I’m wasting my time with them!

  12. Krisz Rokk

    April 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

    A marketing plan without social media isn’t worth too much… Social media marketing is definitely marketing, and yes it predicts future trends. There are lots of Corps that aren’t doing very well in this ‘arena’. SMEs were a lot faster; they were amongst the first to engage on FB. Looking forward to Pinterest’s new strategy 🙂

  13. Cathrine

    April 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Social media is now becoming a powerful tool in internet marketing. Many social networks have been emerged in short time. The influence towards this is getting quite high among the users.That is why many a brands are using social media to promote their business or products. I also want to say that infographics is getting more attention and pinterest launched in 2010 gets more popular.

  14. Specs

    April 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Because of social media so many business bloom and some others were launched. This brings to the idea that in the near future, most social media sites are no longer free. But until then we should enjoy the present and use this social media like facebook for the good of our business and personal endeavor.

  15. Danny

    April 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Great article!
    I am personally not a big fan of social media, as I find it is closing people off from real life experiences. But as more and more people live a great deal of their life on the internet, the information becomes much bigger and more accurate. With offline marketing you are mostly working in the dark. test-groups are a poor excuse for objective opinions. Questionnaires are highly unreliable as well, as our real actions and what we think we want and would do are far from one and the same.

    Tapping into normal everyday activity and conversation is a much more reliable way of finding out what is on peoples minds.

  16. Adam

    April 16, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Rolling out a social media strategy is not an expensive venture. In fact, it can be done on a low budget, especially in the beginning. Many of the social media platforms you can leverage monetize themselves through advertising. Therefore, the use of many of these tools is free.

  17. Matt Snyder

    April 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Coming from a non-profit background, I’ve had to use social media as a primary marketing resource, mainly through utilizing grassroots strategies via supporters and advocates.

  18. Santa Clarita

    April 29, 2012 at 1:06 am

    You aren\’t wrong. Social media marketing is not expensive. You can do all of it yourself or outsource it to people anywhere. Good tips.

  19. Rita Dawson

    May 10, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Social media marketing can be a very good way of marketing in today’s internet world.

  20. Al

    May 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I believe there will be soon a social media identity unique and proprietary i.e. it belongs to the user. This identity will be the equivalent of email and people can keep track of their social interaction and be the owners of their content. The same as people did not trust Web mail, the same people do initially distrust social media.

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