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Social Media poses a quandary for many media companies at this time. Most acknowledge that it’s important but they’re unsure how best to harness its effectiveness. This is especially prevalent in the B2B sector where this consumer-generated media (CGM) is limited to a tight niche. We’re talking here about social media sites like Facebook, blogs and microblogs like Twitter, and content communities like You Tube. Social Media has the highest level of influence of all types of media except for events (Baseone Buysphere Report, April 2011) with 81% of UK marketers feeling it is important for raising awareness, 73% for attracting new customers and 70% for retaining customers (IAB UK B2B snapshot, Sept 2011). We can agree it’s important then. So why do only 25% of media companies have a clearly defined social media strategy (Social Media Benchmarking Report, Aug 2011)? And why do 3 out of 4 B2B Marketers spend less than 10% of their budget on social media (Social Media Benchmarking Report, Aug 2011)? The same Benchmarking report explains that gut feel drives most companies’ social media strategy. In reality many employees of publishers seem to be micro-blogging and then using social network aggregation platforms to distribute their message. This is largely independent of a company’s ‘official’ strategy although some users combine their persona with the company’s message or news. It’s difficult to gauge effectiveness which is probably why marketers spend so little on social media. However, they recognise its importance and this can only grow. These are early, and exciting, days for social media.      

Post Author: Ewan McKay

Ewan runs a recruitment business specialising in sales jobs and marketing jobs for media companies.

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