“Social” has been on the “peak of inflated expectations” for well over a year now. Social Marketing, we believe is almost at peak as we are seeing a second (perhaps 3rd) wave of interest focused on metrics and business outcome. Largely, we see that although there are social marketing activities yet to be fully explored, progressive digital marketers have already rolled up their sleeves and are focusing on consistently creating valuable and engaging content, generating qualified leads, and coordinating both in-house skills and external resources that give social marketing proven business results.
While exploring the Social Ops Neighborhood and riding the track on the Digital Marketing Transit Map, consider three stops of high interest for the rest of 2013 and into 2014:
1. Content Marketing: Social marketing depends on having something to say — and saying it in a way that is thoughtful, timely, compelling and authentic. In an effort to become more creative and more responsive as content marketers, many social teams are studying the newsroom habits of publishing organizations and developing best practices based on the principles of media workflow. It requires a focused and funded effort that staffs and organizes resources appropriately. These capabilities and resources are something which many digital marketers still do possess.
2. Social Analytics: Social monitoring, particularly for digital marketing teams, has been in a terrific sweet spot over the past three years. Most organizations unfamiliar or uncomfortable with social media needed to “get their feet wet” and audit the social space just to get an understanding of what was being said about their brand on social networks. Social monitoring filled this initial step very well. Today, there are currently hundreds of social media monitoring offerings available, but needs have changed. Clients are starting to move beyond keyword search and basic sentiment and they are increasing demand for Social Analytics, which builds on social monitoring and includes unstructured text (beyond keywords) analytics, predictive modeling and prescriptive recommendations about what to do with the social data they are gathering.
3. Connection to Marketing Ops: Social marketing needs integration with, well, marketing. The space has just about had it with doing social because it’s social and measuring social KPIs for more social. Marketing Ops is about the management and operation of marketing platforms and applications, including campaign, lead, loyalty, event, performance and marketing resource management systems and processes. Marketing operations span the gap between digital and traditional marketing channels. Social Marketing must be considered in these plans. Social Marketing at a basic level offers what multichannel marketing seeks to do: giving marketers engaged and targeted interaction particularly when the customer is reaching out themselves.