The ROI of Social Media is Your Business Will Still Exist in 5 Years

It’s a great statement, the title and it means a lot to me. It’s been the corner stone of our advice to clients on social media since it hit the scene a few years ago; you have to change your mindset away from the typical virtues of digital marketing. Social media is here to stay, it’s a revolution and as Erik Qualman calls it, it’s Socialnomics.

The social media revolution video from Erik, the social media master, is quite genius in its mind-boggling look at how the world is changing – if Facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest! It’s an era marketers’ cannot ignore and must embrace – it’s actually really quite useful and exciting!

Watching the latest instalment of these revelations is well worth four minutes of anybodies time, take a look.

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I watched it again this weekend and thought two things; these trends are consumer focussed but what can B2B companies take from them and what do these trends tell us about other marketing activities we perform?

“Social media is not about technology. Social media is about relationships.”

It takes just thirty seconds for the words B2B to flash up in the video; affirmation that social media is for all, individuals and businesses. Social media is all too often viewed merely as emerging technologies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but it’s people and relationships that make it work. This has been true of B2B marketing for as long as it has been practised.

“It’s about people.”

Recruitment

“95% of companies using social media for recruitment use LinkedIn”

For too long LinkedIn has been tainted with it’s dominance by recruiters but businesses are fighting back and realising the potential of extended networks.

LinkedIn is maturing and emerging as a key business tool. Building your network of contacts, increasing recommendations and participating in groups not only benefits your lead generation efforts but also increases your chances of finding your next colleague.

Email

“Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé”

For the last year I have found myself managing a number of ‘inboxes’ across Outlook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Email is still a relatively new communication channel but is it to be short-lived? The growth of mobile has meant that more communication channels are always on and email seems a little cumbersome on occasions.

Universities in the U.S. have begun to stop distributing email accounts and as marketers we need to consider how we deliver our messages in the future.

Video

“YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world”

It is quite a staggering fact and it always comes as a surprise to those that I pass it on to – it’s a Google property so I guess it’s expected! You’ll find plenty of stats that show YouTube as a favourite of c-level execs too, so it’s becoming a key channel for businesses’ to exploit – typically it’s seen as a retail channel but it’s finding it’s place in the B2B marketers arsenal.

The use of video in marketing campaigns is on the up. It yields much greater response rates too.

Content

“If Wikipedia were made in to a book it would be 2.25 million pages long”

It is quite incredible, the amount of content being produced online – it has been king for so long but relevance has to now play a part, surely? Content will always be important and standing out is only getting tougher. Buyers are choosing sources carefully. Smart content strategies are now at the centre of successful campaigns.

Incidentally, it would take 123 years to read Wikipedia – and it’s growing!

Referrals

“90% of consumers trust peer recommendations with only 14% trusting advertising”

Referrals and recommendations have always been the favoured way to get business. In the past it was limited to those that we know or have done business with; now we can influence many more and reach in to networks that were closed off. Through building your profile, being visible in LinkedIn groups, active on Twitter and engaging on blogs, we can be seen and respected by people we’ll never meet but that may recommend us.

“With 93% of marketers using social media for business we don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”

If you work in digital, or marketing, or just plain exist on this planet, you’ll be aware of the effects of social media on society – it’s socialnomics, it’s a revolution. In Egypt, babies have been named Facebook – crazy!

There are plenty of social media articles flying about but the Socialnomics website is one to pay attention to. The book is so much more too – add a comment and I’ll send you a copy!

If you’d like more thoughts from me on social media then our guide is due to be published in the next few weeks.

(All the statistics and quotes are credited to Erik Qualman and his Socialnomics video.)