A Marketing Prediction and Fervent Wish for 2014

One of the “hot topics” we’ve been following in 2013 is the trend toward more accountability and measurement for social media efforts. We’ve been doing a lot of research on the topic, speaking at conferences and writing articles for communication publications. Based on what we’ve seen we predict–and fervently hope–this is a trend that will continue.

In some regards the “bloom is off the rose” when it comes to social. The top social media sites have been around for a while, new ones are emerging, and most people in business settings have at least some general awareness and understanding of the tools and how they might be used to communicate with various audiences.

But, now that the experimentation is leading to broader implementation–and a host of questions about the efficacy of some of these tools–we predict that there will be heightened scrutiny of the investment (time and money) in these various activities in 2014. We’re at the point now where most of those who will use these tools, have used them and many are beginning to question their value in terms of real outcomes — e.g., leads and prospects that convert to sales/revenue, cost savings, etc.

While we continue to believe that these various platforms can be effective, we think that many applications or uses of them are not. Just as when considering the use of any communication tool, marketers should have a strong understanding of the value they hope to achieve and should track both whether they achieved that desired value and at what cost–those costs should include both money and time.

Initially, it’s okay to focus on building followers to create an audience for your messages. Ultimately, though, that audience needs to produce something of value or your efforts are wasted.

Don’t waste any of your communication efforts in 2014. Be strategic!

 

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